Thursday, February 19, 2009

How (Not) To Talk To A Creationist

PZ has copies of emails from a professor of biology at UVM responding to an IDiot from the Discovery Institute trying to wangle a debate. Pretty sweet.

(h/t: marindenver/Rumproast)


P.S. Just in case you're wondering, "Why not debate?", the short answer is this: Been there, done that, and too many times already. Creationism is not science, "intelligent design" is not anything but creationism rebranded (remember the Wedge Document?), and all the creationists are looking for is credibility by association.

Richard Dawkins has an essay called "Why I Won't Debate Creationists" if you'd like to read a clear and detailed explanation.


[Added] It turns out there was an additional wrinkle here. The professor, Nick Gotelli, had earlier written a commentary, published in the Burlington Free Press, explaining why the initial selection of Ben Stein as commencement speaker at UVM had been met with such disapproval. The IDiot was possibly trying to pick a fight, and certainly trying to play on this, since Gotelli had distinguished in his article between a commencement speaker and just having a controversial lecture given somewhere on campus. He had no problem with the latter, obviously.

The IDiots play this "free speech" card all the time these days ("teach the controversy" having met its Waterloo Dover back in 2005), trying to create the impressions that religious dogma is just as good as facts and scientific theory, and that lack of patience for superstitions in the science classroom equals censorship. Sadly, this snow job sometimes works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet indeed and I liked the coining of the word ceatards in the responses. Thanks to PZ and Brendan for making the day better with this posting.