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Debate: "Is there good evidence for evolution?"

Debate Topic: "Is there good evidence for evolution?"
Date/Time: May 30, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm
Venue: Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) building, room #296
Directions/map: http://www.pdx.edu/profile/visit-smith-memorial-student-union
Cost: Free
Presenters:
1. Dr. Bart Rask (anti-evolutionist and Christian)
2. Truman Ardent Smith (evolutionist, atheist, and humanist minister)
Moderator: Steve Balogh, a student leader in the PSU Freethinker's group
Debate Sponsor: The Portland State University Freethinkers
http://tinyurl.com/PSUthinkers

This is a community event.  Kids are welcome, if they are behaved and supervised by an adult.  This could be a great learning opportunity for them, especially for teens and preteens.

The presenters may or may not reflect the views of those in the Freethinker's group.  The event is intended to provoke community dialogue, so the audience is encouraged to grill both presenters with the best questions they can think of.

(If you want to help by posting flyers, you can print it out from the pdf file here:
http://www.meetup.com/WestsideTalk/files/ .  There's also a version of the Powerpoint source if you want to edit it.)

The rsvp is not required; just to gauge interest.  Please rsvp if you plan to attend, to help the organizers.

Format overview:

Content-wise, the debate will focus on two of Bart's claims:
1. Statistically, it is impossible that evolution could happen.
2. There is no good evidence for evolution.

Truman will present information supporting modern evolutionary theory, and Bart will counter with his criticisms of evolutionary theory.  Bart supports an alternate hypothesis of ID (Intelligent Design).  Presentations will be short to enable time for the presenters to cross-examine each other, and there will be plenty of time for audience Q&A.  See below for a more detailed format.

The room will hold about 50 or 60 people.  RSVP'ing will not save you a seat; it is only to gauge the interest of the community.  Plan on arriving early to get a seat.

More about the speakers:

Bart Rask, M.D. (orthopedic surgeon), is the author of a new book entitled "Evolution By Affirming the Consequent: Scientific Challenges to Darwin's Theory of Evolution"
www.tinyurl.com/BRask1 . Bart earned his MD from OHSU in 1989, and a BS in Microbiology from Oregon State University in 1983.

Truman Ardent Smith is a former evangelical Christian and author of a new booklet called "Modern Science and Philosophy Destroys Christian Theology" www.tinyurl.com/cfp9obv

Truman has a BSEET degree from Oregon Institute of Technology in 1984 and a Masters in Ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary in 2007.  He has been working in the computer industry since 1984.

***********

Parking:

Free parking after 7 pm in PSU Parking Structure 1 (near the SMSU building).  Parking is $4 per hour prior to 7 pm; just pay the attendant (6th st. entrance) when you enter the parking garage.  (If you arrive at 6:30 pm, you still pay $4 for 1 hr. min. fee.)  
Address: 1872 Southwest BroadwayPortland, OR 97201
Google map: http://tinyurl.com/PSUpark1
Additional PSU parking info: http://tinyurl.com/PSUparkInfo

***********

Agenda (details)

7:00-8:00 pm:   Part 1 (presentations)
-- Truman's pro-evolution presentation (15 min.)
-- Bart's anti-evolution presentation (15 min.)
-- Truman cross-examines Bart (10 min.)
-- Bart cross-examines Truman (10 min.)
-- Truman comments on Bart’s main presentation (5 min.)
-- Bart’s comments on Truman’s main presentation (5 min.)

8:00-9:00 pm:   Part 2
-- Audience Q&A (60 min.)

No goods nor services will be sold.

***********

......................

Some Proverbs are pretty cool:

Proverbs 18:17 NKJV
The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

...another translation

Proverbs 18:17 NLT
Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight.

Join or login to comment.

  • Bernie D.

    FYI, the debate is now online for free viewing:
    http://youtu.be/IO3xfGgCrmQ

    June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Based on the written conversation about this debate, I'm losing interest. I thought it would be about evolution, not whether the Bible is "true" or not. The dialogue appears to have degenerated into an ongoing round of "did so/did not," rather than an intellectual and informative discussion about evolution.

    May 27, 2013

    • David R G.

      When the anti-evolution guy states that his approach is based on faith, the topic must and should move to the bible-the foundation of his faith. As I tried to make clear in my comment at the end, the last "question", you cannot have a perfectly rational, analytical debate about evolution if one party's approach is based on the bible.

      1 · June 1, 2013

    • Bernie D.

      RE: "When the anti-evolution guy states that his approach is based on faith, the topic must and should move to the bible-the foundation of his faith. "

      Bart was claiming that both evolution and ID are both faith-based; neither have evidence. Seems to me there are mounds and mounds of evidence for evolution, and evidence contrary to ID (such as transitional fossils both being evidence FOR evolution and AGAINST ID). Bart said transitional fossils don't have to be evidence for evolution-only, but he's not able to offer up what other hypothesis it would support (certainly not ID). His ID means species are individually designed without descent.

      June 4, 2013

  • PhilD

    to Chris Wisehart:
    "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

    But of course we are not in that situation. If there were actual proofs available, I would certainly believe. Miracles seem to be relegated to the old stories. There is no proof of a young earth, no proof of Noah's flood, even Israel admits that there is no archaeological evidence that the stories in the Old Testament ever happened. In fact, there are solid proofs that these things couldn't have happened. Before someone tells me that NOTHING could change my mind, at least give me SOMETHING tangible. The question that believers need to ask themselves is "why do I have to have faith, and only faith, to believe?"

    April 22, 2013

    • Bernie D.

      Dennis wrote:
      " Also, I’ve seen it said that within the 1.4% difference in human and chimp DNA, there are over 500 million functions."

      I don't know if you saw the multipart video... there are at least 12 parts. Did you understand "synteny?" Use some logic- when you see the bits change across various DNA for organisms as if they descended, then they really did descend; or else, if designed, the designer is a liar by making it appear as they descended but not really descending. I don't think you want the option of your God creator being a liar and deceiver. That's like saying Satan planted the fossils to deceive us (some have actually claimed this).

      June 1, 2013

    • PhilD

      Hi Dennis, about:
      "Phil, It only comes up in Hebrew???"
      try hitting the button on the home page that says "English".

      June 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Truman, have you read Ravi Zacharias' "Why Jesus"?

    April 24, 2013

    • Mccorkle, David V.

      Would one expect all statements to be consistent in face meaning? Yes if they were composed by a finite human who may have access to an ancient advanced science. But if there are hidden meanings that are, indeed, accurate, but of which the authors could not have known, must this not evidence "supernatural"­ inspiration?

      June 3, 2013

    • Bernie D.

      Dennis wrote: "Bernie, The fact that you find someone else's views "disgusting" seems to violate your desire for civil discussion. "

      It isn't that I find their opinion or view disgusting. What I find disgusting is for one to pose as an academic and teacher of men, but refuse to talk about certain topics. From my experience, Ravi avoids the topic of 'evolution' like the plague. I think either he has no answers, or else he doesn't want to displease his donor base by saying what he really thinks. Likely he CAN accept evolution (as long as one says god was somehow involved), but that would cause him havoc with his donor-base. Show me where he clearly discusses evolution. Any articles by him?

      June 3, 2013

  • Mccorkle, David V.

    Many of the issues brought up in the debate and subsequent questions are resolved (my opinion) in my soon-to-be published book "Why the Universe Bothers to Exist, Theistic Determinism, Evidences and Implications". It can be preordered on this web page:

    http://sbpra.com/DavidVMcCorkle/ For instance, I nicely resolve the origins controversy both from the Biblical perspective and from the science of evolution (not the philosophy of naturalism: evolutionism). Obviously I disagree with the speaker who tried to characterize evolution as not a science. Science is based on empirical observation but also requires conceptualization. This starts as hypothesis, but matures into theory as null hypotheses are disproven empirically. Good theory is the end product of the process. (If a scientist claimed to have absolute truth, then he would no longer be open to further evidence. And true science is always open to new evidences. After all, we are finite beings as humans.)

    June 1, 2013

    • Mccorkle, David V.

      Only a few prepublish copies are available. The regular publisher, SBPRA, will not do the regular printing until the preorder quota is met. I am trying to get a reviewer of renown to do a review that will establish value for the perspective buyer.

      June 3, 2013

    • Bernie D.

      FYI, David McCorkle and I debated each other before, on YouTube here:
      http://www.youtube.co...­

      June 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent, though I might be affirming the consequent.

    June 1, 2013

  • Jill

    It was grand.
    As far as I see it, personally I've never questioned that there wasn't evidence, but prior to going and looking into the almost polar opposite thoughts. I've learned a little more science ... The event was thought provoking, kind of entertaining.

    May 30, 2013

  • Jon P.

    I wish two things. When debates about evolution come up, the topic is macroevolution evidence since that's what really matters in the ongoing controversy (the title may need to just include "evolution" to not confuse the public until the debate starts and terms are defined) and 2. That if the creationists want a debate about evolution there is agreed to a second debate following on the merits or believability of creationist narratives.

    May 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was OK. The debaters did stick to the subject - evidence for evolution. As expected, the anti-evolution speaker would not acknowledge any of the "pro" side's points. Unexpectedly, the "anti" speaker was much more science based and articulate than I had thought he would be. However, he would not discuss anything except defining evolution as a science, and his main point was that we can't see Macro-evolution taking place. Well, of course. It takes hundreds of thousands to millions of years to develop from one species into another. and I never did understand his point about the inability to interbreed meaning that two species were not descended from a common ancestor. More interested than I expected but no new information or insights.

    May 30, 2013

  • Evan

    Should be interesting

    May 29, 2013

  • Jill

    Ah here, for anyone like me who doesn't know the difference:(got off the internet...Microevolution studies the kinds of things that can cause reproductive isolation between populations of a species ... and macroevolution studies how this reproductive isolation becomes permanent as they speciate.

    May 27, 2013

  • Jill

    Hi everyone & Bernie, Since today was the last of the critical thinking group, for summer, I made a couple PDFs, not sure how to attach to comments, thinking of a couple things we talked about.
    3 pages Fermi's paradox, like when I said, "it would be for me 'more far-fetched than...." I was joking, Jerzy", but on this something struck me as relating to presenting rationale in your upcoming debate, they way they debate that... The basis or proof..etc.
    And about sentient...1 page Albert Schweitzer, Nobel prize.. turns out he was 'religious', but spent most of his energy as a doctor, Africa, known for "Reverence for Life"....his quote on that, awareness.
    If anyone wants to print/read them...

    May 26, 2013

  • Jill

    Oh I know, I said I 'gleaned' that excerpt from somewhere off the internet.. later

    May 23, 2013

  • Bernie D.

    Hi Jill- yes- I think 'the origin of life' will come up in the discussion.

    May 22, 2013

  • Jill

    Something I gleaned off internet, thinking about Origins of Life Thursday and your debate on Evolution next week.....

    "Often brought up in the origins debate is how evolution does not explain the origin of life. Let's get something abundantly clear: abiogenesis and evolution are two completely different things. The theory of evolution says absolutely nothing about the origin of life. It merely describes the processes which take place once life has started up. There may also be multiple pathways to producing naturally occurring "life". Depending, of course, on the definition of life."
    See you soon

    May 22, 2013

  • Jill

    Hmm...I thought I had already joined and RSVP d on the other group's 'ticket'. but here's one for this group too I guess going twice. Ha! P.S.

    May 21, 2013

  • Bernie D.

    Jim said: "I have registered for the May 30 debate. I am wondering if I can also bring my wife and four kids, plus a couple of friends. Is there room for more? "

    The RSVP here is just to gauge interest; doesn't save you a seat. It is very unpredictable as to whether this event will be highly attended or not; so I'd say to arrive early just in case, to get a seat. Please invite all your friends. Yes, bring your spouse, kids, and friends. The more the merrier.

    May 13, 2013

  • Jim M.

    Bernie (or whoever answers these posts):
    I have registered for the May 30 debate. I am wondering if I can also bring my wife and four kids, plus a couple of friends. Is there room for more? Thanks much, Jim Morud

    May 11, 2013

  • Jon P.

    Most of us want to dive into the evidence for our world views without asking a more important question - what constitutes good, robust evidence? Is eyewitness evidence a good way to evaluate history? For example see how DNA findings are releasing prisnors often convicted on eye witness testimony. Why do some people support eye witness testimony for their scriptures yet dismiss eye witness testimony for other faith beliefs? Is appealing to authority (authors who rest their assertions on trust based on visions and auditory input from God and angels) adequate and to be accepted? How does one dismiss Islamic claims over Christian claims or ones from Jewish or Hindu sources? Perhaps then the first discussion should be what 'evidence' should be respected and what kinds are best or are trumpted by better ones?

    1 · April 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    One who did said even if one should rise from the dead they will not believe.

    April 17, 2013

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