CFI Portland Meetup Group Message Board Announcements › Questions about the evolution debate scheduled for Mon. 9-12-11

Questions about the evolution debate scheduled for Mon. 9-12-11

Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,043
RE: Potential debate with David G. and myself:

Will said: "David added some conditions that I'd suggest he be flexible on. But I would attend the daylights out of this event. Call it a Meetup Throwdown."

Will- you must not have read my response to him... here's the specific link:
http://www.meetup.com...­

It is hard to debate someone when you have the same position on "the arrow (or lack thereof) of evolution."
A former member
Post #: 21
1) The purpose of a social event is to build relationships, overcome prejudices, and find common ground.
The purpose of an evolution vs creationism debate is to challenge core beliefs.
I don't think they make a good mix.

I would encourage events where theists and atheists can socialize.

I'm not a big fan of public debates with creationists, per se. It appeals to a so-called "reality TV" mentality. It gives supporters of the "winning" side a sense of smug satisfaction, and tends to cause the "losing" side to dig in their heels. It inherently presents the fact of evolution as a matter of belief equivalent to creationism, and inherently reinforces the false meme that science is a religion.

Science is not a collection of facts. Science is a means for discovering understanding facts and helping to predict future events--a means that has proven singularly effective in human history.

I would summarize my approach as follows:

The problem is not that the public is ignorant of facts, although they are. The problem is that the public lacks the means to evaluate the validity of claims.


2) It is my understanding that, when board members return from vacation, they intend to meet and make some decisions. If I am invited to contribute my thoughts to their discussion, I am happy to do so, and have communicated that to Kurt.

3) I am happy to negotiate conditions for a public debate. That is how one arrives at what I called "mutually agreed upon" terms. I presented my expectations. Now, the ball is in Bernie's court.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,046
David Galiel said:
"Now, the ball is in Bernie's court."

Sure- I'd love to debate you on the topic of "The Epic of Evolution" which you have referred to as pseudoscience bullshit and woo-woo.
Will I.
spblat
Portland, OR
Post #: 5
David Galiel said:
"Now, the ball is in Bernie's court."

Sure- I'd love to debate you on the topic of "The Epic of Evolution" which you have referred to as pseudoscience bullshit and woo-woo.
Now who's attacking straw men? Are we allies or adversaries here?
Will I.
spblat
Portland, OR
Post #: 6
I would encourage events where theists and atheists can socialize.

I'm not a big fan of public debates with creationists, per se. It appeals to a so-called "reality TV" mentality. It gives supporters of the "winning" side a sense of smug satisfaction, and tends to cause the "losing" side to dig in their heels. It inherently presents the fact of evolution as a matter of belief equivalent to creationism, and inherently reinforces the false meme that science is a religion.
I support this position. Kurt, Sylvia, if you're still reading: more mixers, and fewer debates among non-experts please.
A former member
Post #: 4
I would encourage events where theists and atheists can socialize.

I'm not a big fan of public debates with creationists, per se. It appeals to a so-called "reality TV" mentality. It gives supporters of the "winning" side a sense of smug satisfaction, and tends to cause the "losing" side to dig in their heels. It inherently presents the fact of evolution as a matter of belief equivalent to creationism, and inherently reinforces the false meme that science is a religion.
I support this position. Kurt, Sylvia, if you're still reading: more mixers, and fewer debates among non-experts please.

That's (way) more like it. I second that motion as well. Less panem et circenses, more pizzam et "let's have a friendly conversation about what science does for us."
A former member
Post #: 22
Bernie wrote:
:Sure- I'd love to debate you on the topic of "The Epic of Evolution" which you have referred to as pseudoscience bullshit and woo-woo.

Great!

Since there are many variations of the "Epic of Evolution" creation story, as narrated by different Religious Naturalists, could you provide a link to the specific version you wish to defend?

Also, could you comment on my suggested format & framework for the debate?
Would you like to propose your own alternatives?

Since you don't seem to like "Does Evolution have an Arrow?" title (although that is a primary theme of the numerous versions of the "Epic of Evolution" with which I am familiar, and the notion of an evolutionary "arrow" is even discussed in the Wikipedia page on the "Epic of Evolution" to which you linked), do you have a suggestion for an alternative title?

How about a proposed description to go along with your proposed title?

Let's see if we can find common ground on format, framework and rules, and make this thing happen!
A former member
Post #: 23
BTW, was not suggesting that debates of any kind are not useful in general.

Just suggesting that debates with creationists framed around challenging the fact of evolution are not useful---particularly not if the goal is to provide theists with opportunities to meet atheists and learn about us as people.

For example, a debate about competing philosophies can be fascinating.

So can a debate between theoretical physicists about competing cosmological models, if they are capable of expressing themselves in English rather than jargonese.

Even a debate between a realist and a theist about the existence of god, or the foundation for morality, or whether life has "meaning" without god; those kinds of debates can be interesting and informative.

But, debating scientific facts with a creationist --someone who, by definition, rejects the scientific method and/or lies about the results?

I don't see how that serves any purpose except Schadenfreude.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,048
"Since there are many variations of the "Epic of Evolution" creation story, as narrated by different Religious Naturalists, could you provide a link to the specific version you wish to defend?"

I stand by the explanation given by Ursula Goodenough. Link:
http://en.wikipedia.o...­

Yes- not just defend it, I would promote it.

Format- I'm flexible.

How about this for a proposed topic?

Topic: Is the "Epic of Evolution" pseudoscience woo-woo bullshit?
(Catchy title? ;-) ... kind of like the recent CFI lecture called "How to be a pain in the ass" by the author of the book with the same title.

You could argue the pro (affirmative, yes it is BS); and I'll argue the con (defend the 'epic').

I can also argue the importance of understanding cosmological evolution, and you can continue to call that rubbish. This topic involves both cosmological evolution and biological evolution as foundations.
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,445
David said:

But, debating scientific facts with a creationist --someone who, by definition, rejects the scientific method and/or lies about the results?

I don't see how that serves any purpose except Schadenfreude.

That is a good point if the main intention is to change the mind of the creationist debater. But if it is to change the mind of at least one of persons watching the debate, then it is not as good a point. That is because some of people watching the debate might be undecided and they might also have an appreciation for scientific facts on the scientific method. Likewise even some of the creationists watching the debate might be in that category (for example, even many creationists are scientists in fields outside of biology).

I used to be an old earth long creation day Christian, while loving science (and I still love science). When I began watching NOVA science shows about evolution (especially about genetics in regards to evolution) and certain shows biblical archaeology (such as the program called "The Bible's Buried Secrets"), my belief in the Bible weakened as a result. That is because those shows showed me some of the strong evidence against portions of the Bible.
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