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A Debate With Young Earth Creationists

Okay, so officially the debate is on Saturday December 15th from 4-6 PM.

This is it. Our debaters for this event are Conway Redding, James Hutson, and Jonathon Parkinson to represent us. The topic for debate for this event is, "What is more rational considering the evidence, theism or atheism?"

The room is available to us by our opposition. The rooms capacity is 70 people, so I can only invite about 35 people. There has been a request that no babies or children that might be loud be brought, because that would be disruptive. Also, I request that all guests be respectful and to please do not create an atmosphere of animosity or hate. If this debate goes well, we will have further debates with these Young Earth Creationists in the future on several topics. If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me.


The address is 2100 Greenfield Drive El Cajon Ca 92020. Go in around the guard shack to the left. Park on the left side. Go in the lobby of the admin building and the elevator is on the left. Go to the third floor. Make a left out of the elevator and then another left. The last room is room 336A.

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  • Conway R.

    Ellaine, you might want to contact Shawn Lorenzano to see what all's going on with the debates/discussions. Or maybe Sean Taylor. But right now there seem to be some iconflicts within our ranks that may be impeding progress towards futher debates/discussions with religionists.

    February 12, 2013

  • Elaine B.

    So curious to know if discussions are percolating for another debate installment. Secular morality, as well as the glaring credibility problems of the Noah's Ark story, emerged as 2 favorites for the next debate(s). Any upcoming plans?

    February 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes they are. It's rather slow going at this point as far as I know. And it's Kevin's trun to pick the topic. I am all for the Noah's ark story.

      1 · February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wanna' know why no one told me about the dinner afterwards?

    December 20, 2012

    • Shawn

      Yeah, sorry Rob. You were gone by the time I went to tell you.

      December 20, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm just bummed I missed it. That's were all the good conversation takes place.

      December 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Shawn, I've a few debate topics that could possibly be passed on to Kevin if you're interested:

    *The Power (or failure) of Prayer. Does it really work?
    *Justifying Biblical Morality
    *Should Religion and Politics Marry? (The Separation of Church and State)
    *Childhood Indoctrination

    But most of all, I think I would just like to know what it was that convinced them to believe in a personal god, what convinced them that the stories of the bible are true and just a debate about what it is they believe regarding their religious views in general and why (as they seemed to vary across the panel on the religious side).

    I also think it would be helpful for them to pick a topic that they all feel similarly about so we don't get what we got last time where in some instances we got three different answers to the same question. At one point one of the panelists was advocating for evolution! (Of course, they took the mic away from him as fast as they could after that.)

    My .02. :)

    December 17, 2012

    • Debbie

      I know its more work but.... It would be beneficial for people to leave with "notes" about anything you think is important for them to have learned from your presentation... Or even a suggested reading list.

      December 19, 2012

    • Shawn

      That IS a good idea.

      December 19, 2012

  • Nicholas S.

    December 19, 2012

    • Shawn

      Aww, no video at all? Oh well. I will be doing heavy note taking and commenting for our review in 3 to 4 weeks. I hope everyone involved will do that also so we can discuss it thoroughly.

      December 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just happened to see a very interesting movie, not documentary, on a theory explaining the 6 Days of Genesis with Relativity Frames of Reference. The movie was the Genesis Code but you can view this web page for details: http://www.bobsheppard.com/Christianity/Genesis_-__The_First_Six_Days.html

    December 19, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      entropy can decrease locally as long as it increases globally, otherwise water would never freeze. in other words, you can decrease the entropy of a system so long as you increase the entropy of the surroundings by a greater amount. but they

      December 19, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      The best explanation for the problem of entropy, came from Brian Greene's book the Fabric of the Cosmos. There he explains that there was perfect homogeneity at the instant of the Big Bang and therefore everything since then is not getting more ordered but less. Calculations can be made as to the entropy increased in the environment due to the "organization"­ of living matter.

      December 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lets not forget Aaron for his great job at moderating. (I sure didn't want to do it)

    December 19, 2012

    • Debbie

      Agreed. He set the perfect tone.

      December 19, 2012

  • Aaron

    Rob, thanks! And I was so proud of our team. The quality of argumentation was A+ guys.

    December 19, 2012

  • Shawn

    I have saved everyones suggestions and thanks again.

    December 18, 2012

  • Jenn R.

    Thank you to Shawn and everyone else I met that night! I had a great time at the debate and dinner. I'd really love to continue to network with everyone here and continue to make new friendships. If you guys ever need anything, please feel free to contact me at any time!

    December 18, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Next time you are down this way on a Saturday, stop by and visit us at the outreach booth at Balboa park.

      1 · December 18, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Jenn, feel free to call or email me when you want to make another visit to San Diego. I can post an event for another get-together in your honor. It was great meeting you! :)

      1 · December 18, 2012

  • Shawn

    Again, I want to stress that anyone coming to this needs to keep a level head. Please do not be rude or condescending to the theists present. Please do not applaud or shout during the event. Save your applause for after the closing statements. When you, the audience gets to ask a question, please make sure you are asking a question, not wasting time making statements, or being an ass. You only get one question, you may ask it of either side or both sides. Please be concise.

    December 12, 2012

    • Debbie

      I thought we were very polite, but I must admit, when people start spewing Bible verses at me I get a touch hostile.

      1 · December 16, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I had a difficult time keeping my mouth shut.

      1 · December 17, 2012

  • Shawn

    Sorry for the confusion in the beginning, but I was supposed to be there a half hour before the debate to work out some minor details and my ride was late.

    December 16, 2012

    • Elaine B.

      Shawn, if you need help facilitating or organizing, please let me know. My mother lives in those foothills less than a mile from that church, so I'm in that area regularly. Thank you for organizing this.

      December 17, 2012

  • Elaine B.

    In last night’s inaugural square-off, the discussion gave rise to meaty subjects that would work well as future topics. I suggest we discuss the idea of morality and ‘right v. wrong’ in believers and non-believers in a future meeting. That surfaced as an attention-getting theme last night. Christian Bob (the ear-splittingly loud one) wouldn’t let go of this, in spite of his weak argument. There is a great deal to be said about secular morality. On another note, James rightly observed that we had not defined or agreed upon what god/theism even is. They must provide that definition if we are to have meaningful discussion. Oh and btw, I never did hear anyone respond to Jonathan, explaining how dinosaurs, buffalos, rattle snakes, et al, made it from Noah’s ark on Mount Ararat, Turkey, to North America. Good swimmers?

    December 16, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I like the idea of "christian" morality vs. any other kind of morality. But, my favorite is still Noah and geology.

      December 16, 2012

    • Debbie

      I like the issue of morality and ethics. I'm tired of Christians making sweeping claims about the nature of human morality, conscience, empathy, etc., with no demonstrated understanding of psychology, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, etc. I think it might be good to pull in another religious tradition since the creationists are wacko and insist on proselytizing. I'd rather see religious people disagreeing with each other. After we address where the innate aptitude for moral judgement comes from, we might address specific topics, such as stem cell research, abortion, gun control, sex education, divorce, gay marriage, etc., and speak to how humanists and christians differ in terms of how they engage in ethical decision making.

      December 16, 2012

  • Debbie

    Hi Shawn... thanks for ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK in putting this together. I hope you were pleased with the results.

    December 16, 2012

  • James B.

    For a topic, how about, "Does the Bible have any relevance whatsoever in the modern world?"

    December 16, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Everyone knows the answer to this already. Them= yes. Us= NO. ;)

      December 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nic, when and where are you going to post the video? I can't remember all the gaffs on their part.

    December 16, 2012

    • Nicholas S.

      Ill try to post something by wednesday

      December 16, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      thanks

      December 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd like to go with Noah's ark for the next discussion.

    December 16, 2012

    • Shawn

      Ok, it will be on the list of suggestions that I'll be sending Kevin. It's his turn to pick the topic.

      December 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was interesting. Although I would have liked it if it would have stayed on topic a little more.

    December 16, 2012

    • Shawn

      Well, I'd say any argument that has to do with theism or atheism can be made towards a point of why they think it's more rational, depending on what you believe the truth to be. It was a vague topic, so it's not surprising that it went in different directions. I will say that every argument did have to do with the perspectives of the debaters rationality.

      December 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow! This was enlightening and fun! Thanks Conway, James and Jonathan. You were all spectacular! Can't wait for the next one. The dinner afterward was great! :)

    December 15, 2012

  • Dave T

    It was a good debate. There is room for improvement, but it was worthwhile to see. Thanks for organizing this. I would be interested in going again.

    December 15, 2012

  • Wally

    My car's in the shop. Is there anyone from inland north county going that would be willing to give me a ride? Otherwise I'll bow out and let someone else have my spot.

    December 14, 2012

    • Dave T

      I am in Carlsbad. I could take the long way there if you cant get another ride.

      December 14, 2012

    • Wally

      Thanks, that's really nice of you! Hopefully someone lives near the 15 and won't have to drive so far.

      December 14, 2012

  • Shawn

    Just to clarify things, I just want to make sure everyone going to this debate understands that we will not be debating young earth creationism. One member of the other sides panelist is not a YEC. We will be debating the topic which is, "What is more rational considering the evdence, theism or atheism." We will also be having future debates with Kevin and/or his team, so if anyone has any suggestions for an interesting topic, I'll send them along with the other suggestions for him to consider.

    December 11, 2012

    • Daniel A.

      Btw I went to liberty university, that's right, Jerry falwells school. Majored in youth ministry. So I know their way of thinking.

      December 12, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Daniel, you have my sympathy. And glad you have become enlightened.

      December 13, 2012

  • Daniel A.

    Can someone get video of this? I would love to see it.

    December 12, 2012

    • Debbie

      My understanding is that it will be taped. It can be posted in a variety of places, but for sure on the youtube channel of San Diego Coalition of Reason. Debbie

      December 12, 2012

    • Shawn

      I got one guy taping this for sure, I hope others will bring their recording equipment also.

      December 12, 2012

  • Barb G.

    What's more rational, superstition or reality? Is that even a valid topic? I mean, we already know the answer, and no doubt we've heard all the arguments, many of which begin with "what if...?"

    1 · November 24, 2012

    • Barb G.

      I went to the Creationist Museum thing and my brain still wants to crawl away and hide...

      December 12, 2012

    • Shawn

      Rationality depends upon what you think to be true. Another way to put it, science tells us things we know to be true, but without certainty because new data may make us adjust. So right now, what we know to be true, we think to be true. When we rationalize what we think to be true based upon empirical data, the way we rationalize is justified. The same goes for belief systems that justify themselves based upon data they think to be true. One can rationalize theism if they trust religious sources. If theists educate themselves in the sciences, then compare the sources objectionally, they may well abandon their belief systems. The sad thing is that religious programming prevents objectional thinking.

      1 · December 12, 2012

  • Shawn

    *evidence* I really need to proof read my posts.

    December 11, 2012

  • Shawn

    A young earth creationist by the name of Kevin Conover gave a presentation to SDNA back in April. Originally, I didn't want to go because it was a presentation, not a debate. I went anyway, just to maybe hear something new from the theist side. Before I went, I contacted a few members to see if they wanted to form a debate club with me. After a few weeks of contacting people I schedualed a meetup. At our second meetup we decided to try and make contacts with theists to schedual debates. Before I even got started, Kevin contacted me, obliging to debate with us. He found out we were looking because his wife recieves emails from SDNA.

    December 8, 2012

    • Shawn

      Jenn, contacting churches is probably the best way to do this. If you want to network with me, send me an email.

      1 · December 8, 2012

    • Jenn R.

      Thank you Shawn, I will!

      December 8, 2012

  • Elaine B.

    Hmm...I was wondering if this was a continuation of the Kevin Conover discussion. Didn't realize it was an ongoing thing. Looking forward to it.

    December 8, 2012

  • Elaine B.

    What sparked this event? Curious to know if they sought us out for this, or vice versa?

    December 8, 2012

  • Shawn

    If anyone wants to moderate this debate, let me know. You'll flip a coin with the oppositions moderater to see who gets to do it. I'll email anyone who's interested what your job as moderater entails.

    December 5, 2012

  • Shawn

    I changed the RSVP settings to allow for up to 2 guests. I didn't know that guests would count for the maximum people, (Slaps forehead).

    @ Stephen. Yes, you said it perfectly. I would say that emotional experiences are something that while impactful, are not a rational, because of how the brain works. Emotions stem from the subconscious, (the subconscious part of our minds are NOT rational), while our ability to reason and rationalize are a function of the conscious part. Therefore, one cannot rationalize based off emotions. I think that until one knows this, it is difficult to formulate what the truth may be.

    November 26, 2012

  • Shawn

    *appreciate*

    November 25, 2012

  • Shawn

    Nick will be recording this, but if any else wants to also, I would appeciate it. @ Barb. We can rationalize according to what we think the truth is. That is just what the YEC will also be doing. I think a more accurate way to describe this is revelation vs. skepticism. Before the topic was, "What is more rational considering the 'scientific' evidence, theism or atheism?", but they were uncomfortable with that. Not surprising. Nevertheless, we will be using science as our main arguments.

    November 25, 2012

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