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Thread: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

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    Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics need to have a basis in reality. I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars. Creationism is in the same category.

    This is taken from an open letter by Prof Nicholas Gotelli in reply to an invite by the anti-evolutionist Discovery Institute.

    He goes on to say:

    So, I hope you understand why I am declining your offer. I will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of Nature and Science. But until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.

    In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious.

    Sincerely yours,

    Nick Gotelli

    P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.

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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    I personally believe that scientists should debate with Creationists etc as it enages students and school pupils many of whom are agnostic or believe in a god without being in any type of religious group. These type of debates and athesist lectures help them to question what they believe and why, which for me an athesist is well worth while.
    I had the good fortune to attend one such lecture at Bradford university the Lecturer was Dr Timothy Taylor who gave a brief run down of the scientfic reasons against intelligent desgin, these included flat fish which have a gill and an eye facing the sea bottom, Sarah Palin because she wears glasses so it snot intelegently disgined etc. This lecture was open to the general public and especcially schools who were invited, it did enaged the pupils and hopefully made them qustion their beliefs.

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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    I can see both sides to this. The one side is the stance that Richard Dawkins originally took (although he's since changed that view), which is to say that creationism isn't a real science but an untestable faith-based theory - something admitted by both Henry Morris and Duane Gish, the founders of the movement itself - therefore it's not even worthy of a debate by scientists. If creationism isn't considered scientific by the movement’s own leaders, how can anyone else be expected to take it seriously as a science. The other side is I think perhaps more important in that it should be debated and the facts laid out to counter the falsehoods being put about by creationism and to inform those gullible and/or naive enough to believe it as fact without foundation.

    There's a TV programme this coming Wednesday (18th August) at 9pm on More4 called "Faith Schools Menace?" which in part deals with this issue in the UK. To quote the programme introduction...

    Richard Dawkins explains why he thinks religious schools are bad for kids. He makes a persuasive case and delivers it with uncharacteristic restraint, careful not to propagandise and in fact spends more time in discussion with people who disagree with him than with his supporters. He also remembers to talk to children and he's brilliant with them, explaining scientific ideas but reminding them to question the things grown-ups tell them. No doubt this will leave religious parents fuming. But secular mums and dads, particularly those not prepared to lie to get their children into 'better' state religious schools, may give him a cheer.
    ...however the whole of the programme issue looks to be fascinating and well worth watching or recording for later viewing.
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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    I personally think this should be turned on its head, and say that a Creationist would be ill advised to debate a real scientist. The best they have to offer couldn't even convinsingly debate a jounalist and auther (Christopher Hitchens), who admits to his very limited knowledge of science. Up against a serious scientist, it would be at best humerous, at worst humiliating for the creationist, and definitely pointless. The creationist limits their argument by having nothing new to discover.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours ." Steven Roberts

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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    I would never invite an atheist to participate in any serious discussion of the origin of the universe. Most of the ones I have met in my life have been too closed minded to have any credibility. None of the ones I have heard have a clue how the universe was created but they dismiss the most logical one.

    There is a theory of the intelligent design of the universe that logically explains the existence of God but almost every atheist refuses to acknowledge the most logical explanation of a very complex system.

    It is called the “Beef Bourguignon” theory.

    If you have ever eaten properly prepared Beef Bourguignon you know that it is a very complex and rich dish that is very difficult to prepare properly. It takes intelligence to prepare the dish. Nature is not going to prepare the dish through its random permutations. You can sit a pot on the surface of Pluto and wait for trillions of years and the randomness of the universe is not going to bring the ingredients to produce a pot of the rich stew. A pot of the stew is not going to pop into existence through some big bang or anything. It just ain’t going to happen.

    The complexity of the universe and the intelligence and soul of Man is like Beef Bourguignon to the millionth power. For somebody to be so stupid as to think this complex universe was created out of nothing through some kind of infinite randomness that goes against the know Laws of Physics is not only moronic but probably a little sick in the head. To dismiss the most logically explanation of the universe by intelligence design in favor of undefined randomness is too closed minded to be taken seriously.

    To me atheists are like child molesters, psychopaths, racists and other undesirables in our society. Yea, they exist but you kind of feel sorry for them and you wonder about their mental disorder than caused them to be atheists and you don’t invite them to polite company and you sure as hell don’t afford their opinion any credibility.
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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    I would never invite an atheist to participate in any serious discussion of the origin of the universe. Most of the ones I have met in my life have been too closed minded to have any credibility. None of the ones I have heard have a clue how the universe was created but they dismiss the most logical one.

    There is a theory of the intelligent design of the universe that logically explains the existence of God but almost every atheist refuses to acknowledge the most logical explanation of a very complex system.

    It is called the “Beef Bourguignon” theory.

    If you have ever eaten properly prepared Beef Bourguignon you know that it is a very complex and rich dish that is very difficult to prepare properly. It takes intelligence to prepare the dish. Nature is not going to prepare the dish through its random permutations. You can sit a pot on the surface of Pluto and wait for trillions of years and the randomness of the universe is not going to bring the ingredients to produce a pot of the rich stew. A pot of the stew is not going to pop into existence through some big bang or anything. It just ain’t going to happen.

    The complexity of the universe and the intelligence and soul of Man is like Beef Bourguignon to the millionth power. For somebody to be so stupid as to think this complex universe was created out of nothing through some kind of infinite randomness that goes against the know Laws of Physics is not only moronic but probably a little sick in the head. To dismiss the most logically explanation of the universe by intelligence design in favor of undefined randomness is too closed minded to be taken seriously.

    To me atheists are like child molesters, psychopaths, racists and other undesirables in our society. Yea, they exist but you kind of feel sorry for them and you wonder about their mental disorder than caused them to be atheists and you don’t invite them to polite company and you sure as hell don’t afford their opinion any credibility.

    Thank you for so convincingly illustrating my point. With this kind of bigoted, hysterical, none sensical, irrational, ill informed stupidity, poeple like you will always be excluded from any kind of serious debate, confined to the lunatic fringe side lines where you belong.

    I would never invite an atheist to participate in any serious discussion of the origin of the universe. Most of the ones I have met in my life have been too closed minded to have any credibility. None of the ones I have heard have a clue how the universe was created but they dismiss the most logical one.
    You couldn't conduct a serious discussion about the origins of the universe. You have no clue about how the universe came to be either, and your attempts at an explanation are the most illogical and irrational with the least ammount of empirical evidence.

    There is a theory of the intelligent design of the universe that logically explains the existence of God but almost every atheist refuses to acknowledge the most logical explanation of a very complex system
    No there is not. For a theory to be taken seriously there has to be at least a shred of evidence to support it, the bancrupt ID proposition has been very soundly and humiliatingly debunked in every single accedemic forum, every single scientific field, even in the court room.

    To me atheists are like child molesters, psychopaths, racists and other undesirables in our society. Yea, they exist but you kind of feel sorry for them and you wonder about their mental disorder than caused them to be atheists and you don’t invite them to polite company and you sure as hell don’t afford their opinion any credibility.
    Anyone reading the above quoted paragraph could be fairly forgiven for thinking you were describing any number of religious leaders from any of the three abrahamic faiths, the description fits perfectly.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours ." Steven Roberts

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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    I would never invite an atheist to participate in any serious discussion of the origin of the universe. Most of the ones I have met in my life have been too closed minded to have any credibility. None of the ones I have heard have a clue how the universe was created but they dismiss the most logical one.

    There is a theory of the intelligent design of the universe that logically explains the existence of God but almost every atheist refuses to acknowledge the most logical explanation of a very complex system.

    It is called the “Beef Bourguignon” theory.

    If you have ever eaten properly prepared Beef Bourguignon you know that it is a very complex and rich dish that is very difficult to prepare properly. It takes intelligence to prepare the dish. Nature is not going to prepare the dish through its random permutations. You can sit a pot on the surface of Pluto and wait for trillions of years and the randomness of the universe is not going to bring the ingredients to produce a pot of the rich stew. A pot of the stew is not going to pop into existence through some big bang or anything. It just ain’t going to happen.

    The complexity of the universe and the intelligence and soul of Man is like Beef Bourguignon to the millionth power. For somebody to be so stupid as to think this complex universe was created out of nothing through some kind of infinite randomness that goes against the know Laws of Physics is not only moronic but probably a little sick in the head. To dismiss the most logically explanation of the universe by intelligence design in favor of undefined randomness is too closed minded to be taken seriously.

    To me atheists are like child molesters, psychopaths, racists and other undesirables in our society. Yea, they exist but you kind of feel sorry for them and you wonder about their mental disorder than caused them to be atheists and you don’t invite them to polite company and you sure as hell don’t afford their opinion any credibility.
    Wow Flash... That's just as unbelievable as a god. Why would you want to equate Atheists with the quality of your religious leaders? It has been proven time and time again that all of those attributes are alive and well in the church.

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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    Wow Flash... That's just as unbelievable as a god. Why would you want to equate Atheists with the quality of your religious leaders? It has been proven time and time again that all of those attributes are alive and well in the church.
    Religious leaders are nothing more at the end of the day flawed men. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. I follow the ones that I believe and reject the ones that I don’t believe.

    Atheists, on the other hand, are generally narrow-minded bigots that reject the concept that this universe may be the product of something bigger than themselves.

    The theories of a secular universe are preposterous and go against our knowledge of the Laws of Physics. It is really moronic to conjure up a myth of a random universe that just can’t be explained with our knowledge of how things work.

    This existing recipe for a universe is very precise to allow the development of carbon based life. The four basic forces of the universe (Strong Force, Weak Force, Electromagnetic Force and Gravity) are in perfect harmony and to suggest that it came together by an unexplained happenstance event is absolutely loony. It is much more reasonable to believe that there is some kind of intelligent design to the universe.

    The problem I have with atheists is that many of them reject the idea of God for social reasons and not because some irrefutable proof that they have. In fact I have never seen any proof. They reject God because they think belief in God is the norm of society. Maybe they rebel against the norm because their father sexually abused them as a child or they love socialism or they fell down one day and skinned their knee and wondered how God could be so cruel to them. Maybe a Catholic Priest force them to do a sexual act behind the alter one day. Who knows? In other words it is based upon some kind of psychosis rather than logic. To me atheists are very insecure and walk around with a chip on their shoulder. They belong in the same grouping as many other deviants in our society. They have closed their mind to the idea of God just like a homosexual closes their mind to the idea of a normal heterosexual relationship.

    I really feel sorry for those people that are so narrow-minded and bigoted as to close their mind to the concept of God. It defies logic to reject God. Of course it defies logic to be a child molester but unfortunately many people are into it.
    Libtards hate freedom unless it is the freedom to kill a child on demand for the sake of convenience. Otherwise they want the government to control every aspect of our lives.

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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK View Post
    Thank you for so convincingly illustrating my point. With this kind of bigoted, hysterical, none sensical, irrational, ill informed stupidity, poeple like you will always be excluded from any kind of serious debate, confined to the lunatic fringe side lines where you belong.

    [ ... ]
    Well said Dave, you beat me to it!

    I have a very good friend who is a creationist and believes in a literal interpretation of the bible - needless to say he's American - and in normal life he's a totally rational and intelligent man, the author of a number of quite technical financial books, with whom you can have very enjoyable discussions on all sorts of subjects, and where he has no difficulty whatsoever in seeing even the slightest problems involving logic and inconsistencies therein. However get him on the subject of religion and that objectivity and understanding of logic go completely out of the window, and he'll do exactly as Flash does; he goes round and round in circles, totally ignoring the fallacies involved and ignoring direct questions and answers he doesn't want to hear as if he never even heard them. I can quite see why a number of psychologists talk about intense religious belief and conviction being very akin to a mental illness; it's as if a part of the brain involving objectivity and logic switches off whenever the subject crops up.
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    Re: Why scientists shouldn't debate creationists

    Quote Originally Posted by Midas View Post
    However get him on the subject of religion and that objectivity and understanding of logic go completely out of the window, and he'll do exactly as Flash does; he goes round and round in circles, totally ignoring the fallacies involved and ignoring direct questions and answers he doesn't want to hear as if he never even heard them.
    I would say EXACTLY the same thing about those people I have talked to that have closed their mind to God. Bigoted, narrow-minded and have no proof of anything. You and Dave are great examples of those kind of people that refuse to open their mind. When questioned they go around in circles. Like I said before I think it is a psychosis.
    Libtards hate freedom unless it is the freedom to kill a child on demand for the sake of convenience. Otherwise they want the government to control every aspect of our lives.

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