My Evening with Kent

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My colleague, Steven Mahone, a board member of Colorado Citizens for Science and an engineering professional with the largest utility in southern Colorado, agreed recently to debate the well-known creationist Kent Hovind on evolution vs. creation. As Mr. Mahone describes below, he was snookered into leaving his visual aids at home, whereas at the last minute Mr. Hovind was allowed to present his. As I write, it is still unclear why Mr. Mahone and another debater were prohibited from bringing their visual aids, but it seems likely that the Campus Crusade for Christ, a sponsoring organization, was not at fault, and they have sent Mr. Mahone an elegant and sincere apology, which is reproduced below.

Here is Mr. Mahone’s account of the debate.

My Evening with Kent by Steven Mahone

On a calm Friday evening at the base of the Rocky Mountains, I marched onto a stage along with physics professor Sam Milazzo and “Dr.” Kent Hovind to debate the question, “Science or Religion?” at the Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado. No, I didn’t heed the advice of the other, more experienced debaters who had come before me and politely decline the invitation. They just didn’t have the passion that I had. They didn’t understand “these people” like me. I was going to make a difference this time I tell you! Four hundred Christians were going to immediately run (not walk) to Borders and buy out the shelves of everything written by Bertrand Russell, Steven J. Gould, and Richard Dawkins after hearing my closing remarks! Well, it didn’t exactly turn out that way. Perhaps three of the attendees rushed to Borders after the dust settled – but that’s probably because they were late for work. Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience to say the least. Here’s my (admittedly biased) assessment of how the evening unfolded:

First of all, Dale Anderson, the organizer of the debate, sent an e-mail to all of the participants on the preceding Wednesday stating, “Slides and multimedia will not be used for this debate. Your verbal presentation is your only means of communication.” Of course, neither Sam Milazzo nor I brought slides – but guess what, Hovind showed up with his PowerPoint presentation, and the organizers changed the rules five minutes before the debate began to accommodate him! I gave serious thought to bowing out right then and there, but after a deep breath I decided to continue with the evening anyway – mostly out of what I considered to be good manners.

The crowd was decidedly pro-creation. No surprise and nothing unexpected there, since the event was sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ. There was standing room only, with probably 400 people in attendance. During my opening remarks, a young man in his twenties sitting five feet from my podium kept heckling me with statements like “There are no intermediate fossils!” and “Newton believed in God!” He was polite enough to stop when I pointed to him and shook my head.

After the opening remarks the questions from the moderator began and all of them were phrased in a way that was critical of evolution. Not a single one put creationism or intelligent design on the defensive. I was really surprised, since I was personally assured by Campus Crusade for Christ that not only would evolution be scrutinized but so would creationism. Just call me a gullible, old-fashioned secularist who expects people (regardless of religion) to keep their word. Additionally, there was no time for audience questions as was promised in the itinerary – I doubt that this omission was purposeful, but it showed how haphazardly the moderator stayed with the debate format.

Hovind has an extensive inventory of slides for just about any subject that could be broached when discussing religion and science – I have to give him pretty good marks for his organizational skills. One of the topics that was brought up was racism and eugenics as practiced by Margaret Sanger. I commented that racism and eugenics had little to do with Sanger, and, in fact, our own “Christian Nation” had an official eugenics department from 1905 to 1945, when it was shut down, not by pastors or religious activists, but by scientists and psychiatric experts who could no longer justify its validity. Hovind then used a rapid-fire succession of slides using quotes and misquotes to claim that evolutionary thinking leads to racism – but he explained nothing!

Another question asked, “How can the evolution of separate sexes (male and female) be explained by evolution, and why are females more complex than males?” Both Sam and I explained that asexual reproduction was how it all began, but when the exchange of genetic material occurred, it provided a distinct advantage to those organisms because a greater range of diversity in the genome was available for natural selection to work with. The male and female sexes grew out of this advantage over the subsequent millions of years of evolution. Hovind simply put up a slide and exclaimed, “God made male and female separate!” Ugh!

When asked about President Bush’s recent statement that students should be taught both sides (which I assumed meant including ID in science classes), Hovind put up a slide about the bacterial flagellum and mentioned Michael Behe as a strong advocate for teaching ID. I countered that Behe does not believe in a young earth, he accepts species-to-species evolution, and he does not support the claim of a worldwide flood occurring some 4,500 years ago – all of which is in direct conflict with what creationists like Hovind believe. I pointed out that ID offers nothing to aid science and asked how would ID even be presented to students, especially if a Hindu, Muslim, etc. was teaching the class. Sam Milazzo also pointed out that he would have no idea how to even teach such a concept. Hovind offered no advice whatsoever on how to address this issue but he did have more slides. Surprise!

Unfortunately, Hovind finally managed to “get the goat” of Sam Milazzo by repeatedly challenging his integrity as a teacher and claiming that Sam is only indoctrinating his students with the religion of evolution. Hovind also accused Sam of labeling all Christians as “dumb.” Sam was (obviously) offended and began walking off the stage, saying that he wouldn’t allow someone to continually put untrue words in his mouth after he asked them to stop. I intercepted Sam and convinced him to finish the debate – which he did. Anyone in attendance could see that Sam is a passionate and concerned teacher whose only intolerance is for misinformation and ignorance.

This was my first time on stage as a participant (I’ve moderated debates before), and I learned a lot about how to approach such events (it’s much different than doing radio, which I’ve done going up against Jonathan Wells, Jay Richards, and James Perloff). I would certainly change a few things concerning my game plan (like more attacking of the creationist claims), but other things I wouldn’t (like remaining composed and respectful even in the face of ignorant statements). When you go into an event like this, you have the expectation of always saying the right thing and having the perfect anecdote at your fingertips – yeah, right! Nevertheless, if you stay the course you’re going to provide strength and inspiration to those already on the side of science, and, every once in a while, you might just make a difference to a mind that is still undecided.

Tiffany Green, student president of the UCCS Chapter of the Campus Crusade for Christ offered Mr. Mahone the following apology for the manner in which he had been treated.

Mr. Mahone,

Thank you very much for your constructive criticism. I want to offer my apologies for Kent Hovind using his slides. It was an injustice I was not directly responsible for, but I am truly sorry for how it unfolded. Further, I would like to tell you that I felt it in no way put you at a disadvantage, as both your arguments and Dr. Millazzo’s were moving and eloquently stated.

Thank you for your participation; I feel the debate was a success for both sides of the argument were supported expertly. I am sorry if the questions seemed slanted, I can assure you that was not our intent, and you are right that some of the questions should have been directed toward creation. I have great respect for both you and Dr. Millazzo, it takes courage to stand up for your beliefs. I also know that you both had the harder end of the deal, because you had to think more on your feet than Dr. Hovind because of his experience in debating this topic.

Thank you once again for handling the evening like a gentleman and a scholar.

Sincerely, Tiffany Green

For more background on Mr. Hovind and his scholarly credentials, you may see my essay at http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…]society.html. Mr. Hovind’s “thesis” is not generally available to the scholarly community, but you may read about it at Karen Bartelt’s Web site, http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/[…]d_thesis.htm. If you follow some of my references, you will find that even some creationists consider Mr. Hovind to be unscientific. Finally, Victor Stenger has posted some additional material and an earlier draft of Mr. Mahone’s essay at http://citizensforscience.org/frida[…]rado_springs.

65 Comments

Is it not true that debates with Hovind almost always end up with such sleazy things happening at the last moment?

An appropriate form of apology for this group would be to invite Dr. Mahone back for an evening of presentation and Q&A, without a debate, it seems to me.

My colleague, Steven Mahone, a board member of Colorado Citizens for Science and an engineering professional with the largest utility in southern Colorado, agreed recently to debate the well-known creationist Kent Hovind on evolution vs. creation.

Why? All such “debates” accomplish is to let the nutters raise money and to give the impression that they really have something to “debate”.

If ID “theorists” and creation “scientists” think they have something scientific to debate, then let them submit their, uh, research to peer-reviewed science journals like everyone else has to.

And if they don’t HAVE any, uh, research to present to peer-reviewed science journals (or, in the case of IDers, can’t keep it there once they get it in), then let them shut up and go away until they DO. (shrug)

Why oh why do we continue to let the nutters set the terms of the “debate”?

These days young people are going to remember stuff they’ve seen in visual presentations a lot more easily than stuff someone just tells them, and I’m sure Kent Hovind is very well aware of that. I wonder if Drs Mahone and Milazzo would have been allowed to present their visual aids if they’d brought them and Hovind hadn’t brought his. Something tells me they wouldn’t. I have a very hard time believing that this wasn’t deliberate.

It’s all very well to stack the deck and then send a private apology afterwards, but that hardly rectifies things. I really doubt whether it was all as accidental as the Campus Crusade for Christ representative claimed, but I suppose that having helped give their guy an advantage with a biased presentation and allowing him to use his slides, they can afford to be magnanimous after the fact.

Why in the Hell doesn’t the Evo side of these “debates” ever include Hovind’s “credentials” in their opening remarks, complete with a request that he be referred to as “Mister” Hovind instead of “Doctor”? While I realize that ad hom is bad form, Hovind spends a lot of time attacking evolution as an “institution” that comes straight from Satan, and that all those who believe in evolution are either willing or ignorant pawns of said devil. That makes ad hom fair game, in my book. Debating a lying charlatan is a bad idea in the first place when he gets the option of setting the terms, but playing nice is not exactly working and meanwhile, he continues to take their money. The man needs to be exposed publicly as a cheap illusionist… too bad you can’t press charges on him for calling himself “dr.” when he hasn’t earned the title.

I’m with Albion in thinking that the apology was more or less a lame attempt to cover the CCC’s ass after the fact. Pity the poor bastard if a mod in one of his “debates” actually takes his job seriously and, well, moderates.

In my opinion, the only way to make a lasting impression in the public of these events is to engage in the same tactics Kent Hovind uses. I would start out by contacting No Answers In Genesis and asking for permission to print and make 400 copies of their list of Hovind lies to use as hand outs. The presentation would be a direct approach: start by saying that the moon is made of blue cheese, and that that proves evolution is true and that the core of the Earth is hot, and that also proves evolution true, not to mention Old Age. You should practice until you can say about 10 of these examples in under a minute. Then go on to explain that that is obviously nonesense, and yet that’s what Hovind will do: sprout hundreds of false claims, which you wouldn’t have time to explain. You might use the “blue cheese moon” as an example of time to say it/time to rebate it.

Then draw attention to the many documented lies of Hovind, and how even though they *are* documented he will probably use them in this very presentation again, changing not a word. Mention that even other creationists have told him that he is lying, and he has done nothing to change his ways. Finally, pull out the list of creationist claims (get permission for that, too) and pass it onto the public. Say that you will make a note of every one of his claims that are answered in that list, and that he knows it and yet continues to lie to the public. Use the second turn of speaking to tell them how many of his claims are answered at talkorigins. You might as well have a single presentation slide, with links to online resources, and hand those out too.

Make a PhD of this whole farse, in fact: Pile it higher and Deeper. Keep hitting the public that anything they hear from Hovind is a lie, with examples if need be. That, of course, leaves only the second turn to cram evolution into your talk, but at least they might listen.

My final step would be to go home and have a cold shower and scrub with a metal sponge, though, because you’d be as dirty as Hovind. And even after all this, you might still not win because Hovind is far more experienced than you are in this kind of cheap carnival tricks. Which is why is far better to refuse to “debate” him in the first place.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

PD: notice that you would need a lorry to carry that many handouts, so unless you had a free photocopy you can exploit, maybe it would be better to carry just ten or so of each and give one per row

Adding to my comments above, and regarding IAMB’s comments, another cheap carnival trick might be to contact Patriot University a week before the presentation and see if you can convince them to give you a PhD in whatever, presenting anything you’ve written as the thesis. Something longer than 300 pages would be perfect. That way, you can show the people that “Dr.” Hovind’s PhD is completely useless. Lenny, I think, managed to get his “Dr.” for about $6, but not sure if it was at the Patriot University like Kent.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

In much the same way that Mr. Mahone and Dr. Millazzo are experts on the subject of science and creationism, people have to remember that Kent Hovind is an expert on debating science and creationism.

Most of us just don’t have the chops to take him on and take him down in a general, public forum debate. The “truth” is at a serious disadvantage in a head-to-head against Hovind and his spew. While we know the science, the history and subject, Hovind knows how to obfuscate, confuse and play to the emotions of the audience. It’s not worth the time to take him on.

I have seen people like Ken Miller overcome Dembski and Behe in a debate, but that’s because Miller knew how to play the game better than those two. Even then, the win really came down to pining the broad ID claims down to a single point – the evolution of the blood clotting factor – and a single paper pulled from Miller’s extensive library on his laptop.

The word needs to get out and be reinforced that debating these guys – in a public, one-on-one forum where the resolution or subject matter is ID vs. legitimate science – is a loosing proposition, except for the most skilled of us.

On the question of whether we should engage in such debates: It is an unfair format to say the least. However, the evo’s do have an advantage they don’t anticipate. Since probably almost everyone in the room already agrees with creationism, they can only have their minds changed in one direction. The type of reasonable person who actually listens with an open mind at a debate like that, while likely a minority of the audience, would notice the one-sidedness of the format and the ad hom nature of Hovlind’s “arguments”, and be inclined to be more sympathetic to the evo side. We can change a few minds in such a situation, while they can only weakly reinforce ignorance.

On the question of male/female complexity: In what way is a female more complex? If I remember my into biology correctly, it is the male who possesses the X and Y, while the female has two X’s, with expression of one copy often suppressed as a Barr body. This leaves the male with more unique genes and, it could be said, higher complexity. Although, I have no idea why that would be relevant to a evolution/creationism debate.

Last note: Congratulations to Steven Mahone for bravery and education. Not only is it difficult to up against an experienced debater (armed with a powerpoint no less) in front of a hostile crowd, but Mr. Mahone isn’t even a life scientist. I’m a microbiologist and I probably wouldn’t be able to synthesize a coherent verbal argument on this issue in real time. He must have great passion for the cause, and done a lot of extracurricular reading.

Something else that struck me as a bit fishy so far in my review of the Hovind “Blue Series” of videos was the part, in session 1, where he accused evolutionary science of making unsupported claims and then challenging others to “prove them wrong”. His entire work, so far, consists of exactly that tactic. I wanted to stand up and scream at all the heads I saw nodding in rapt attention to his every word. Sadly, I don’t think it would have made any difference to them. It’s enough to make a guy want to strike himself repeatedly in the head with a sledgehammer if for nothing more than to hasten the brain’s tranformation to useless mush so the pain will stop. His method takes far longer and is quite excruciating… and I have 8 more sessions to review.

I’d like to see him being forced to stay on one topic for once. I wonder if he, after running out of lies in, say, two minutes or less, would break into an impromptu jig a la Ashlee Simpson on SNL?

I appreciate your idealism, and I can’t say that I disagree with it. I feel the need to debate sometimes, too (at least online). However, even if you were somehow able to keep people like Hovind from using any dirty tricks (although I am not exactly sure what they would be left with at that point), there is the important point that he is playing to his home crowd, not yours, and people will tend to view their spokesman as winning unless it is particularly obvious that he is not.

Then there is a kind of mob mentality to it, where they are reacting not so much to the debaters, but to one-another, out in the audience, and they are coming to the event with a revivalist frame of mind. You might reach a few lonely, questioning minds, or perhaps plant seeds of doubt and curiosity. However, what is just as likely is that you will energize the troops – theirs, not ours. This being the case, the conventional wisdom may in fact be the wisest course of action.

I appreciate your idealism, and I can’t say that I disagree with it. I feel the need to debate sometimes, too (at least online). However, even if you were somehow able to keep people like Hovind from using any dirty tricks (although I am not exactly sure what they would be left with at that point), there is the important point that he is playing to his home crowd, not yours, and people will tend to view their spokesman as winning unless it is particularly obvious that he is not.

Then there is a kind of mob mentality to it, where they are reacting not so much to the debaters, but to one-another, out in the audience, and they are coming to the event with a revivalist frame of mind. You might reach a few lonely, questioning minds, or perhaps plant seeds of doubt and curiosity. However, what is just as likely is that you will energize the troops – theirs, not ours. This being the case, the conventional wisdom may in fact be the wisest course of action.

I appreciate your idealism, and I can’t say that I disagree with it. I feel the need to debate sometimes, too (at least online). However, even if you were somehow able to keep people like Hovind from using any dirty tricks (although I am not exactly sure what they would be left with at that point), there is the important point that he is playing to his home crowd, not yours, and people will tend to view their spokesman as winning unless it is particularly obvious that he is not.

Then there is a kind of mob mentality to it, where they are reacting not so much to the debaters, but to one-another, out in the audience, and they are coming to the event with a revivalist frame of mind. You might reach a few lonely, questioning minds, or perhaps plant seeds of doubt and curiosity. However, what is just as likely is that you will energize the troops – theirs, not ours. This being the case, the conventional wisdom may in fact be the wisest course of action.

Who is Dale Anderson and what organization does he represent? I think an apology from him and his organization is appropriate but I doubt that will happen. The whole debate sounds like a setup to me.

For a fun poke at Dr Dino do a little quote mining. Find some audio/video of Hovind making evolutionary statements and paste them together, all out of context, making him look like a hard core evolution supporter and post the results. I’m sure this could be done for all the other creationists. It would make for a nice closing in future debates.

Bruce Wrote:

For a fun poke at Dr Dino do a little quote mining. Find some audio/video of Hovind making evolutionary statements and paste them together, all out of context, making him look like a hard core evolution supporter and post the results. I’m sure this could be done for all the other creationists. It would make for a nice closing in future debates.

You’re on. As soon as I finish my video review (October sometime, I think) I’ll get working on that. Could be pretty entertaining.

i am one of the creationists that sanjait referred to in his post (45447): i came to a hovind debate at the university of wisconsin about 10 years ago to watch him dismantle the satanic theory of evolution. what i found, however, was that he was an arrogant, foolish, and mean-spirited person. i saw how he used the audience to completely humiliate his debate opponent and that he had the upper-hand from the very beginning due to his rapid-fire approach and colorful slide presentation. never mind that he didn’t seem to understand the science behind the questions; he had enough wacky one-liners and bumper-sticker slogans to out-talk anyone! i was disgusted by hovind and left there with more questions than answers. a decade later, i am still a christian, but now i believe in the truth of nature and of the scientific method. coming from an evangelical fundamentalist family and lifestyle, i now embrace the scientific concepts of evolution and an ancient earth and universe. and i credit hovind, in part, with taking me here.

“Who is Dale Anderson and what organization does he represent? I think an apology from him and his organization is appropriate but I doubt that will happen. The whole debate sounds like a setup to me. – Bruce Thompson”

Good question Bruce … and it get interesting. It turns out that Dale Anderson is NOT with Campus Crusade For Christ, he’s on the board of a group called the Wilberforce Center (a conservative lobbying group that has a close affiliation with Summit Ministries and anti-secularist David Noebel.) In addition, Anderson is student president of the Young Republicans of Colorado. It turns out the he chose the questions for the debate and he gave Hovind permission to use his slides, all without consulting ANYONE else.

Why was the audience so one-sided? What publicity did Mahone and Milazzo employ to get a more balanced audience?

Hovind is the best liar I have ever seen in action.

He has a massive file of power point slides. I have watched him from behind as he merely clicked on the appropriate “counter argument” on his laptop while he listened to the “science expert” present his argument. (In particular, it was when Hovind demolished Mike Shermer at UC Irvine a year or two ago).

Hovind’s massive income is based on the foolish idea held by some scientists that they are smart, so Hovind must be stupid. This is why con-men get rich. Hovind even has his whole show on the net! The arguemnts and slides are all right in front of us, and we still think that we are able to walk in ‘cold’ and win.

There is no doubt at all that the CCC was an active collaborator with Hovind, and shared part of the “take.”

I wonder if Dale Anderson really sent that “no visual aids” e-mail to Hovind as well as to the others, or maybe added a rider in Hovind’s e-mail “of course, this doesn’t apply to you.”

It’s so convenient being a True Christian - it means that all the lies and deceptions somehow don’t count as such because True Christians don’t lie. The way these people can do one thing while promoting the exact opposite and apparently see no contradiction is quite frightening, but I suppose it shows why they’re so good at politics.

Frankly that apology isn’t worth a crap.

Was was Tiffany going to do? Admit that they set you up?

She called it an injustice, but that she wasn’t “directly” part of it. One wonders what was her “indirect” involvement was. My, now that was big of her. Its too bad that she apparently is uninterested in figuring out who was responsible and asking them to apologize to you and placing a letter to the school paper admitting that her organization was unfair to you.

And should one be happy with the statement, “It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs “?

So evolution and science is just a belief?

That faux apology was perhaps the lamest excuse I’ve read for anything in some time.

This whole episode should go to show that it is pointless to engage Hovind in this manner. You will never be treated fairly; and to expect that you will only indicates that you’re no less gullible than the creationists themselves.

I’m glad Mr. Mahone is happy with the apology, but I’d rather him stop making a fool of himself and the rest of us. Hovind is only too happy to find saps willing to debate him, expecting it to be fair.

Why people give him the time of day, I don’t know.

Gary says it well above. Hovind has many debates of his available for viewing free on the net. Anyone agreeing to debate Hovind is stupid. Anyone agreeing to debate Hovind, and then not watching his videos to get an impression of the man and his style, is doubly stupid. Anyone who turns up for a debate with Hovind without a flashy, well-rehearsed Powerpoint presentation, as the hapless Mr. Mahone did, is stupid beyond belief.

I don’t necessarily think that debating Hovind is a good idea (though if people don’t then he can parade his usual lies about evolutionists being scared too). However, I don’t think that someone who at least attempts to stand up for science (albeit possibly misguidedly) deserves to be called ‘stupid beyond belief.’

I don’t necessarily think that debating Hovind is a good idea (though if people don’t then he can parade his usual lies about evolutionists being scared too).

People won’t pay to watch Hovind whine about how scientists are afraid of him.

What was done in the Kansas Kreationist Kult hearing last spring should become the model for all of us- Do not ‘debate’ do not share the stage. Set up a counter demonstration next door, or the next day.

I think that we must understand that none of the partisipants are “stupid.” Hovind is very very smart, which is why he can take most “smart guys” to pieces. Well, his total lack of honor helps too. He is happy to hide behind a phoney “doctorate,” he dishonorably used his standard powerpoint presentation in spite of the lie told to the science presenters.

they have sent Mr. Mahone an elegant and sincere apology

You see elegance and sincerity the way IDists see design.

“Further, I would like to tell you that I felt it in no way put you at a disadvantage, as both your arguments and Dr. Millazzo’s were moving and eloquently stated.”

Our cheating and conniving didn’t put you at a disadvantage, sucker.

“I am sorry if the questions seemed slanted, I can assure you that was not our intent”

We had no intention of avoiding bias in the questions, sucker.

“you are right that some of the questions should have been directed toward creation”

But we’ll do the same thing next time, sucker.

“I have great respect for both you and Dr. Millazzo, it takes courage to stand up for your beliefs.”

That’s all it is, dualing beliefs, sucker.

“I also know that you both had the harder end of the deal, because you had to think more on your feet than Dr. Hovind because of his experience in debating this topic.”

But that he we gave him numerous advantages (which didn’t put you at a disadvantage) had nothing to with it, sucker.

“Thank you once again for handling the evening like a gentleman and a scholar.”

Thanks for grinning and bearing it, sucker.

Lenny, I think, managed to get his “Dr.” for about $6, but not sure if it was at the Patriot University like Kent.

No, mine comes from that august institution of holiness, the Universal Life Church. The ordination was six bucks; the honorary doctorate was an extra two bucks, IIRC.

It’s just as legitimate as anything “Dr” Hovind has. (shrug)

But I should perhaps point out that I do indeed hold the legitimate title of “shidoshi” in Tantric mikkyo, which is the equivilent of an ordained Christian minister.

I don’t necessarily think that debating Hovind is a good idea (though if people don’t then he can parade his usual lies about evolutionists being scared too). However, I don’t think that someone who at least attempts to stand up for science (albeit possibly misguidedly) deserves to be called ‘stupid beyond belief.’

“Stupid is as stupid does”.

Forgive me if I pry, Lenny, but I wonder (since no wikipedia page exists) how is it like a minister? Do you preach? Have vows? Interpret the sanctified texts? Guide the members of your religion in the spiritual excercises? Care for the sick, maybe? I mean, I am familiar with 4 different forms of Christianity and they all have different “priests”. Not to mention that as a geek son of D&D I also have the image of priest of “armoured guy with a mace and holy spell back-up”. It makes such a mismatch that I can no longer conjure a proper image of what a minister *is*.

What I mean is: what are your responsabilities as a member of Tantric? Mind you, this is definetely not the place to discuss it, so feel free to ignore the question.

Grey Wolf

SteveF writes: “I don’t necessarily think that debating Hovind is a good idea (though if people don’t then he can parade his usual lies about evolutionists being scared too). However, I don’t think that someone who at least attempts to stand up for science (albeit possibly misguidedly) deserves to be called ‘stupid beyond belief.’”

Under many conditions, I’d agree with your first sentence. However, since Hovind would never allow himself to appear before an audience that doesn’t already fawn over him, he coud tout “evolutionists being scared” as much as he wants and I don’t see that it hurts anything.

Its Hovind who’s the coward, and won’t debate in a format thats not orgnaized by his allies. Lets not lose sight of that.

Mahone isn’t stupid beyond belief, but he sure is naive.

To my newfound friends Lenny, Andy, and Stuart: The Iroquois have a saying, “It’s not hard to see why nice people who don’t know they are wrong have more friends than mean people who know they are right.”

Mahone writes “To my newfound friends Lenny, Andy, and Stuart: The Iroquois have a saying, “It’s not hard to see why nice people who don’t know they are wrong have more friends than mean people who know they are right.”

I’m sorry if you’re insulted, but I stand by my comments. What you did was naive, and you’ve been had. I certainly don’t think you’re “stupid” as others have suggested. If it is any consolation to you, you are not the first. And sadly, you won’t be the last.

The question to ask yourself is, is have you learned from this experience? If you think the CCC was nice people who don’t know they are wrong then I’m not sure you’ve learned all that you should have.

I’m sorry, but that they changed the rules just before the talk is no accident, and it was no mistake. It is an example of intelligent design. You’ve been hoodwinked. Again, you’re not the first. As soon as they allowed Hovind to use his powerpoint, you should’ve bailed or insisted that they follow the rules you agreed to. They played you for a sucker; not me. So why get upset at us? Direct your ire where it should be directed. But I suppose its too late for that.

The talk.origins website has a few discussions and transcripts regarding past debates. Its not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with them. Next time you debate a creationist you won’t be blindsided.

I know Lenny, I had already linked that site. The advantage would be to key directly into Hovind’s patter. He lives by those PP slides.

What ever. I am going fishing tommorrow.

I am going fishing tommorrow.

I’ve been on vacation all this week. Ahhhhhh, I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to do … well … nothing. ;>

Good luck with your worm-drowning. :>

While not forgetting Flank’s Dictum that this is a political fight not a scientific one, I wondered.

I don’t live in a fantastically advanced part of the country, but things like this colloquia are available. However that is in physics. The university biology dept. has nothing available. 150 years ago Michael Faraday had huge crowds hanging on his every word. Instead of debates (or perhaps using the debate format but subverting it to this purpose*) why can’t there be more public lectures from university scientists, especially on biological subjects? Or more pertinently, do Americans care anymore to attend such things? If anyone tried to offer such lectures would there be no one attending aside from students? I can imagine local newscasts reporting on them, especially if they included really cool, photogenic props for use in demonstrations.

Paul

*Instead of a debate on something as ridiculously and ambiguously broad as Creation versus Evolution, why not argue much narrower topics as how overthrusting (the Matterhorn in Switzerland) works, the science of pollen grain and atmospheric isotopic analysis in mud- and ice-cores, how the bacterial flagellum evolved, how invasive species are displacing the native flora and fauna of the Hawaiian Islands, the first bilaterian flatworms, magnetic evidence for sea-floor spreading, related species on opposite sides of the Atlantic. All of these have creation/evolution/old earth angles. And if presented by experts in detail could be little challenged by cre’s who only know the Galloping Gish style.

Or more pertinently, do Americans care anymore to attend such things?

I very much doubt it. Stuff like that can’t even survive on TV, because nobody wants to watch it.

I have never posted to this site before but I am moved to do so now. I know Dr. Milazzo. He was my Physics instructor in 1992 and 1993. He was a wonderful teacher. People attended his classes whether they signed up or not. No matter the major students wanted to attend his classes. So when I see this sort of disgusting, but not unexpected, debate tactic from Hovind, it gets my blood boiling. Also, as this is Colorado Springs and an extremely religious town, I can almost guarantee that this event was highly under advertised outside of the church community to ensure just such an audience. Disgraceful.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on August 29, 2005 11:35 AM.

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