Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No Live Debates with Creationists

From this thread at Panda's Thumb:

"… in your view, universal acceptance of Darwinism must be inevitable since Darwinist control the high ground in the universities and public schools."

Evolution is nearly univerally accepted in the non-fundamentalist world because it has that mountain of evidence on its side, and no other theory of the origins of species does. However, history is filled with large groups of people who chose to order their beliefs according to something other than the evidence, so no, evolution will never be universally accepted. Hell, heliocentrism and the germ theory of disease are not universally accepted, and I doubt the facts of quantum physics would pass acceptance with the man on the street. So why should evolution expect to be ignored any less than any other well-established counter-intuitive, religiously-troubling scientific theory?

"Do you disagree with Mooney’s strategy to avoid debating technical details? I’d presume if the facts were on one’s side, one would much rather argue facts."

Argue, yes. Debate, no. There is a reason scientists exchange information primarily in formal papers and journals, and not in live debates. Time simply does not allow for technical subjects to be debated live in the necessary depth, with virtually no limit to the subjects that can be broached. That is why the Gish Gallop is so effective in live debates, but doesn’t work in writing. In writing, every subject raised can be addressed, completely, and with references. Live, half of what he says can’t be addressed in the allotted time.

You guys want to debate? Do it in writing. Confine it to a very limited subject. I suspect you will get plenty of takers. You do notice you don’t have any trouble getting people to debate you here, and many of us think you are only half serious anyway.

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