Saturday, February 15, 2014

That's Debatable

There's a controversy among scientists regarding evolution--should they bother to debate creationists?  Which is why Richard Dawkins recently criticized Bill Nye (the Science Guy) for debating noted creationist Ken Ham.  Dawkins says since there's nothing to argue about, scientifically speaking, a debate just ends up giving creationists credibility.

It's always a tricky question--should you debate someone who holds a crackpot theory?  It's useful to introduce evidence to people who may not be aware of it, and perhaps you should be willing to defend your beliefs against all comers, but if you have a public back-and-forth on some issue, you may give the public the impression there's a serious debate going on.

But the fun part is there's a debate happening on the other side.  Turns out Ham is getting pressure from other creationists.  See, Ham is a Young Earth creationist, claiming the world was created about 6000 years ago.  Which has angered Pat Robertson.  As he puts it:

There ain’t no way that’s possible.  To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible.  Let's be real, let’s not make a joke of ourselves.

Young Earth creationists had previously attacked Robertson for such comments, saying his argument amounts to admitting the Bible is not true.

I guess this all depends on how you want to interpret the Bible.  But as far as I'm concerned, on a scientific level, the Young Earth creationists' arguments aren't significantly worse than those of other creationists. If you're going to deny all that evidence, why not go whole hog?

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed. Its good to see you practice what you preach

4:45 AM, February 15, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I think you're trying to be clever but I honestly don't know what you mean.

10:12 AM, February 15, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

My first guess, I admit it is not all that hard, is that either the person despises creationists or favors them.

I'll guess favors them, but I don't have a lot of confidence in the guess. I'll say 60 percent.

That's it. I'm out of gas. I'll leave to the other Guys or our Team Anonymous to sort it out.

7:55 AM, February 16, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think anon is saying you don't think people should debate creationists and in this post you don't bother to debate them either. I'm not sure if that makes anon pro or con on the issue.

11:35 AM, February 16, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds pretty clever to me.

12:42 PM, February 16, 2014  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Do public debates have any effect on public opinion anymore (if they ever did)? Sure, in the oval office, or corporate boardrooms, or gov't hearings, debate (or we could call it civilized discussion) helps people make up there minds about issues, and even change their minds if new information is brought to their attention. The decision is made, however, after participants have a chance, fololowing the debate, to consider what was said, check facts, and even do some personal research.

Public debates are entertainment. Even in college, forensics challenges show that it is all about style of presentation - as either side can argue either side without believing in their proposition one bit. At least for the last 50 years this has become abundently clear to the public, so that when we watch a debate, we assume the speaker doeasn't believe everything he or she is saying, and rather count the points (the "gotch'yas") to decide who won.

Personally, I don't watch debates. I read reasoned arguments and make up my mind based on comparison of two (or more) committed (ie. biased) written presentations. Debates are something fun to watch, or even engage in, at a party. But why would one base their decision about anything on two (or more) people trying to state impromptu as much as they can remember about subject in a heated moment?

8:30 AM, February 18, 2014  
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9:32 PM, June 23, 2016  

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