Michael Shermer vs. Eric Hovind

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Anyone who thinks it’s worthwhile debating creationists should listen to this podcast of a recent radio ‘debate’ between Michael Schermer of Skeptic Magazine and Eric Hovind, offspring of Kent Hovind. Hovind’s arguments show up a lot out in the boonies and his videos are circulated among fundamentalist congregations. One was in a backpack in John Freshwater’s middle school science classroom in the spring of 2007. If you are involved in these kinds of discussions you must know the arguments that are used, bizarre though they may seem and as irony meter threatening as they are. (The management recommends the Line Noise Laboratories Mark V Excelsior with the new optional emergency override capability for extreme situations.)

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Well worth to listen to this podcast and then follow the discussion at Panda’s Thumb. It’s a debate between Michael Schermer (editor of the Skeptic magazine) and Eric Hovind (err, young earth creationist and son of Kent Hovind, the bastion ... Read More

141 Comments

As a former creationist of the weirdo Xian flavor (e. g. the Hovinds), I am certain Shermer not only understood his opponent all too well, but more importantly, had no difficulty in “dissecting” each and every one of Hovind’s points replete in their breathtaking inanity. Should anyone doubt this, may I suggest that you read his columns at Scientific American and Skeptic, and, of course, his laudable - and mercifully terse - book, “Why Darwin Matters”.

Eric Hovind tried the ‘Gish Gallop,’ but Schermer did an excellent job in countering by not letting him go on and on.

Eric Hovind is a “poopy head”.

Michael Shermer didn’t do so well against “Dr” Kent Hovind himself (from a video I watched). Even though I agree with Shermer’s arguments, I find Hovind to be the better debater, or at least the better speaker. And we all know that debates are just public performance arts.

How about giving people some idea how long the podcast is?

Danny: +1. Exactly right, my friend.

Shermer is a nice guy, and he gives an entertaining speech/lecture sometimes, but he’s really a pitiful debater.

Once again the Hovind argument boils down to “because the bible says so”. Preaching to the choir, indeed.

Danny said:

Michael Shermer didn’t do so well against “Dr” Kent Hovind himself (from a video I watched). Even though I agree with Shermer’s arguments, I find Hovind to be the better debater, or at least the better speaker. And we all know that debates are just public performance arts.

Shermer should have told him he was a maroon and a huckster. The radio hosts did call Hovind a huckster, but I’m sure they wanted to call him a “poopy head” too.

What is Eric Hovind doing in public? If I were him, I would be ashamed of showing my face, let alone taking on for myself the “holy work” where my dad left off. Does he honestly believe his father isn’t a deceitful little parasite?

I listened to the debate a couple days ago after PZ linked it from his blog (at least I think that’s the rabbit trail I found it on…)

Hovind: There are no transitional fossils. The Grand Canyon is a remnant of biblical flood. Pretty goofy stuff and well debunked by Schermer IMHO. Also, a HEAVY emphasis on moving YEC ‘products’ and websites.

Listen to the podcast and tell me you don’t think that Hovind sounds almost exactly like Ted Haggard in that clip he did with Richard Dawkins. These rightwing pastors are cookie cutter ignorant and must all go to the same school of sophistry, because it’s very hard to tell one wingnut from another.

Disclaimer: I have no idea if Hovind is ‘so not gay’ like Ted.

Enjoy.

Please, please do note how long “casts” like this are, if it’s not noted in the link. I had some laundry to fold and some papers to organize so I did have time to listen.

I think the only thing Hovind did better was speak louder so you couldn’t always hear Schermer’s comments. Also Hovind offered “freebies” to callers to his office. He gave the number out loudly, too. A 2 hour CD that would answer ALL of anyone’s questions. That’s something, like the DI’s new F+E site, that’s a direct appeal to the average non-scientist Janes and Joes. Touted his Dad’s 18 hour seminar available for free too.

Hovind’s diatribe really makes me wonder how anyone can truly believe that creationist line. Dinosaurs as “dragons”! Loved it!! Be sure to listen to the comments by the hosts at the end too.

I’ve only listened to about 35%-40% of this, and Hovid is hard to stomach. Now he’s talking about how The Grand Canyon couldn’t have formed over millions of years by The Colorado river. And he didn’t even try to go after Shermer’s description of the difference between a flood plain, and canyons carved by erosion.

“Anyone who thinks it’s worthwhile debating creationists…”

dealing with creationists is a specialist skill that involves dealing with their peculiar emotional resistance to being swayed by logic. many people who are extremely competent at biology or scientific philosophy aren’t particularly good in these discussions, and it’s very tempting to blame the creationists when logical superiority doesn’t win the day.

while the creationists are, ultimately, entirely at fault for being WRONG (or “not even wrong”, as the neat description of total cluelessness has it), my concern is that expressions like “pointless” and “arguing with a brick wall” tend to arise when people don’t have the skill set to keep creationists on point and demonstrate superiority to an uninformed audience. the example that comes to mind with Shermer (who writes extremely cogent material) was a radio discussion with Dembski where the presenter was clearly left with the impression of “well, now you’ve heard the two irreconcilable sides of an argument”. Shermer was technically correct, but when both sides argue to a standstill IMO it’s a loss for Team Logic.

386: “Shermer should have told him he was a maroon and a huckster”

I find this attitude particularly obnoxious. it’s the complete opposite of how you combat the religious position that the reason that scientists hold all these incredibly threatening beliefs is because they hate God and christians

I really enjoy reading Shermer’s stuff, and I have a lot of respect for him, but Hovind was running circles around him.

It was painful to listen to. I’d like to see Eric Hovind go toe to toe with Dawkins or Hitchens.

Just as I expected; like daddy, like son. One more pathetic example of a homeschool brainwashing. I would seriously question if that moron (Hovind) has ever even touched a real science book in his life, let alone actually read one - in any discipline. Thirty-four minutes of Hovind babble. The poor thing should not be let out of the house alone. My tummy is still turning. He has obviously been ‘absorbed.’ Good work, Kent.

Aaron said:

…but Hovind was running circles around him.

Are you kidding? Maybe to another YEC.

I found that if you dragged the talk speedily through Hovind, everything made perfect sense.

Lynn said:

Please, please do note how long “casts” like this are, if it’s not noted in the link. I had some laundry to fold and some papers to organize so I did have time to listen.

Apologies. I’ll try to remember to do that next time.

*Sigh*. I really wish someone more informed than Shermer was debating the Hovind-spawn.

Dogs come from Wolves and yes C-14 dating has “issues”. That’s why scientists use multiple methods (like Potassium-Argon) and they understand that there are some common ways that C-14 fails.

The fruit-fly and C-14 dating stories told by Hovind-spawn are well known debunked nonsense.

And how can Shermer let the Hovind-spawn get away with saying evolution has been untested. Its a *continuously* tested theory. Every fossil and date has the potential of falsifying evolution (if it can be easily deduced that there is no way for it to fit in the evolutionary tree.)

vhutchison said:

Eric Hovind tried the ‘Gish Gallop,’ but Schermer did an excellent job in countering by not letting him go on and on.

By the way, if Hovind was trying for a Gish GALLOP, his old grey mare never made it out of a HALT. :)

Paul Hsieh said:

*Sigh*. I really wish someone more informed than Shermer was debating the Hovind-spawn.

Dogs come from Wolves and yes C-14 dating has “issues”. That’s why scientists use multiple methods (like Potassium-Argon) and they understand that there are some common ways that C-14 fails.

The fruit-fly and C-14 dating stories told by Hovind-spawn are well known debunked nonsense.

And how can Shermer let the Hovind-spawn get away with saying evolution has been untested. Its a *continuously* tested theory. Every fossil and date has the potential of falsifying evolution (if it can be easily deduced that there is no way for it to fit in the evolutionary tree.)

I suppose I have to admit that I was reading more in my head than what Shermer was saying. You make a good point. I will try to redeem myself by saying that I spent more time debunking everything in my head that Hovind was babbling. Still, my tummy is turning round and round. I can not imagine how any decently educated person could take that twit seriously. What is wrong?

Eric Hovind has obviously been indoctrinated by creationists. He uses the same argument for the Grand Canyon that has been laughed at. Listening to Hovind, it seems that he has his fingers plugged in his ears. The mannerism of Eric Hovind is more of a person who has to get the message out, than someone who is trying to educate people.

The only thing that disturbs me is that the believe the argument between creationism and science are equal arguments. The Bible is about human morality and not science.

snaxalotl said:

“Anyone who thinks it’s worthwhile debating creationists…”

dealing with creationists is a specialist skill that involves dealing with their peculiar emotional resistance to being swayed by logic. many people who are extremely competent at biology or scientific philosophy aren’t particularly good in these discussions, and it’s very tempting to blame the creationists when logical superiority doesn’t win the day.

while the creationists are, ultimately, entirely at fault for being WRONG (or “not even wrong”, as the neat description of total cluelessness has it), my concern is that expressions like “pointless” and “arguing with a brick wall” tend to arise when people don’t have the skill set to keep creationists on point and demonstrate superiority to an uninformed audience. the example that comes to mind with Shermer (who writes extremely cogent material) was a radio discussion with Dembski where the presenter was clearly left with the impression of “well, now you’ve heard the two irreconcilable sides of an argument”. Shermer was technically correct, but when both sides argue to a standstill IMO it’s a loss for Team Logic.

386: “Shermer should have told him he was a maroon and a huckster”

I find this attitude particularly obnoxious. it’s the complete opposite of how you combat the religious position that the reason that scientists hold all these incredibly threatening beliefs is because they hate God and christians

Oh okay sorry. Okay then he’s clueless and not even wrong. Sorry for saying he is a huckster.

I really thought Shermer should have been able to take out the nonsense about wrong C-14 dating of pond snails, seals and the mammoth. The former is an example of dating the wrong material - the shells of the snails are made of the CaCO3 that was taken direct from water solution, and therefore contains material dating to long before its formation into shells. Indeed, the very purpose of the study that showed this was to point out the problem. Same for the seal. The effect is well-known, is called “the resevoir effect”, and field scientists are well aware of the necessity of avoiding specimens that might be subject to it.

The latter is a crib from Walt Brown, and is simply a blunder. The samples came from different mammoths, and the youngest date given was in addition probably wrong because it was from a hide that had been soaked in glycerine.

Sorry for calling Eric Hovind a “poopy head”.

Dammit, proof before posting, idiot. “Reservoir”, not “resevoir”

Do we need less focus on the actual science in these debates (though that is necessary to a point) and more focus on the basics of sophist debate tactics and the debunking thereof?

I thought Hovind clearly did poorly, but I’m willing to admit my “preconceived bias” against fantasy thinking, and perhaps I also was distracted by, as someone else here pointed out, answering the repetitive and stale questions in my head. (C-14, check…Grand Canyon…check, Fossils, what fossils?…check)

For the record, if you haven’t seen Dawkins speak at Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia (apparently just down the street from Liberty Baptist University) you’re missing a real treat. The audience questions from Liberty University Trolls are the stuff of youtube legend!! Here are a couple for you to feast on, but I’d suggest Googling to find the entire presentation.

Biology Major (Liberty Baptist University) questions Dawkins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd_hHCWlldo

How Old is the Earth?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um3lzs00mcg

Dawkins, in the belly of the beast, slapping down the the idiocy with humor and poise. This is the style you study if you’re going to get serious about engaging with the enemy.

Enjoy.

The Tim Channel said:

Do we need less focus on the actual science in these debates (though that is necessary to a point) and more focus on the basics of sophist debate tactics and the debunking thereof?

Yeah because Hovind is as dumb as a pile of bricks, so that really shouldn’t be a problem with that.

Dumb Hovind junior may be, but he’s as cunning as a dunny rat, and he knows how to sound convincing. That’s all it is, sound and fury, signifying nothing, but it sells. To a scientist, it seems mad, and I know that, but nevertheless, evolution has to be sold, and sales is at least partly technique. It has to be learned and employed.

“Shermer should have told him he was a maroon and a huckster”

“I find this attitude particularly obnoxious.”

Well, maybe you should just ask him how his dad is doing, or maybe ask him why dad couldn’t be here today. Either way, it would serve to point out that this paragon of moral virtue is currently incarcerated for swindling every decent tax payer in the country, beligerantly and with malice a forethought. Obviously the apple does not fall far from the tree. Exposing them for the morally bankrupt hypocrites that they are should go a long way in convincing an impartial observer what the real motivation is for their reality denial.

John Kwok said:

Frank J,

However, on second thought, you should realize too that there is still a substantial publishing “industry” for ID now, especially since noted conservatives like Ann Coulter and Ben Stein, have been busy promoting - and of course defending it - on the conservative talk radio show circuit.

As for Behe’s second book, the DI distanced itself from it, simply because Behe strongly recognized the possibility of common descent.

Appreciatively yours,

John

Well I’m not too concerned about winning over regular Ann Coulter (or Rush Limbaugh) listeners anytime soon. Those people are already lost.

And in the case of the DI distancing themselves from Behe, they’re only shooting themselves in the foot (the Big Tent movement, that is). Behe was on his way out, anyway.

But not to fear! Dumbski has a new book coming out that’s supposed to be the nail in the coffin for materialistic Darwinists. I hopped over to Uncommon Dissent to watch the proponentsists stroke eachother’s egos about how great the book is going to be, and it’s hilarious to say the least.

Like I said; the only purpose conservative media moguls like Coulter or Dembski can serve are to allow wingnuts to justify their beliefs to themselves. They’re not actually convincing people over to their side, which is a good thing I suppose. The ID movement, the modern Republican party, and just conservatives in general are going to have to make some big changes if they’re going to last the next decade or so. And this is coming from a libertarian.

DS said:

Mike wrote:

“If the creationist has such important science to present, why not air it in peer-reviewed journals? Why is it being done in a choreographed debate in front of people who are not experts in any of the material being discussed?”

Perhaps a good strategy might be to refuse to debate anything that is not published in a peer reviewed journal. You might even require a list of references to be presented similar to disclosure at discovery in a trial. Now what are the odds that any creationist would agree to that? Of course you could always point out that they had declined. But then again, you might just find yourself in ar argument over what constituted a science journal or peer review. Remember Behe claimed that his book had been “peer reviewed”. Still, I don’t think anyone who knew anything about science would be fooled by such dodges.

Why publish in a scientific journal when the cards are clearly stacked against them? Creationists know they won’t get published. I’ve heard ID’ers have gone a step further and have started to create their own ID pseudo-scientific journals that publish ID peer reviewed papers, so they don’t need to worry about scientists nixing their “papers.”

John Kwok said:

Frank J,

However, on second thought, you should realize too that there is still a substantial publishing “industry” for ID now, especially since noted conservatives like Ann Coulter and Ben Stein, have been busy promoting - and of course defending it - on the conservative talk radio show circuit.

As for Behe’s second book, the DI distanced itself from it, simply because Behe strongly recognized the possibility of common descent.

Appreciatively yours,

John

The DI didn’t have a problem with Behe’s endorsement of common descent in the ~12 years before “Edge.” Dembski’s ~2004 “modified monkey / modified dirt” article suggested that he gave it 50/50 odds with the alternative (independent abiogenesis). He did clearly say that he did not think that humans and other apes evolved from common ancestors (which was frequently misinterpreted as him denying common descent in general), but Behe might also doubt that they evolved, as in “by “RM+NS”. IIRC, in “Edge” he was careful to leave the genus level in the “maybe” category as to whether beyond the “edge” of “evolution.” Also, over the years I read reviewers noting (often with surprise) that even Wells and Johnson didn’t completely rule out common descent (as in the general sense including “saltation,” “front loading” etc.)

Given that, why would the DI distance itself from “Edge?” The obvious possibility was that, by 2007 Behe was still trying “scientific” incredulity arguments, while the DI had completely given up on that approach. Coulter’s 2006 “Godless” portrayed ID as a religious/political movement - on Medved’s show, Coulter even admitted that she was an “idiot” about science - and “Expelled” removed any doubt that ID intended to be anything but a religious/political movement.

ID supporters, and maybe even the DI itself, still occasionally try to fool new audiences with “it’s only about the science,” but it now seems to be more of a “what have we got to lose?” thing than anything serious. Which is why I get increasingly annoyed with critics who still act like they have just now caught the DI trying to hide their religious/political motivation. That’s so 1999 (when the “Wedge” document was leaked).

To bring this slightly back on topic, I think we should bug the DI, and Coulter, and Stein to state exactly what they think of some of the more cartoonish creationists like the Hovinds. Let’s not let them get away with mere “distancing.”

David wrote:

“Why publish in a scientific journal when the cards are clearly stacked against them? Creationists know they won’t get published. I’ve heard ID’ers have gone a step further and have started to create their own ID pseudo-scientific journals that publish ID peer reviewed papers, so they don’t need to worry about scientists nixing their “papers.”

That’s just fine by me. In fact it would serve three purposes. First, they could no longer play the conspiracy card since everyone could see that there was absolutely nothing stopping them from doing research and publishing it. Second, it would highlight the fact that they really don’t publish in peer reviewed journals, why else would you need to publish your own? Third, it would show everybody exactly why they don’t publish in peer reviewed journals. The quality of the papers would be there for all to see and criticize. I’m sure some real scientists would take to the time to expose the flaws in these “pubilcations”. They might still fool the rubes, but they would not fool anyone else. Let everyone see the best they have to offer, that might just open some eyes. In fact, I really wish they would publish their “science fair” stuff, now that would be good for a laugh.

DS Wrote:

That’s just fine by me. In fact it would serve three purposes. First, they could no longer play the conspiracy card since everyone could see that there was absolutely nothing stopping them from doing research and publishing it.

Don’t underestimate the DI’s hell-bent desire to have everything both ways. They can, have and will continue to brag about having “peer-reviewed” publications and whine about being “expelled.” Some of their rubes will buy the former, some the latter, and some even both. Then again, that’s not the part of the audience we should be trying to reach when showing how the DI plays games.

Dear RDK,

Years ago I was a regular Limbaugh listener - but I was then, like I am now, a bit of political maverick - so if I can be careful enough to discern when he should be taken seriously - and when he shouldn’t (which is at least more than 75% of the time with respect to social and cultural issues) - then I am cautiously optimistic that there may still be a rational segment lurking somewhere within his audience.

As for the DI’s “Big Tent” strategy, it’s rather hard for them make any head way in light of the relative “success” of rivals like AiG and ICR, who, incidentally, strongly reject ID, and of course, the stunning legal debacle which ID received courtesy of Federal Judge John Jones - who was at least back then a fellow Conservative Republican - in December 2005.

Coulter has become an acolyte of Dembski’s, having relied upon his “scientific” expertise in her book “Godless: The Church of Liberalism”, which is replete, not surprisingly, with a rather long riff as to why “believing” in “Darwinism” means “embracing” Atheism (If my memory is correct, she found him quite useful for his statistical and mathematical “expertise”, which Behe relied upon for his “The Edge of Evolution” too.).

Regards,

John

Frank J,

Well neither the DI nor Uncommon Dissent went out of its way to embrace Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution”, except to do a bit of shadow dancing when several, most notably, Mark Chu-Carroll, correctly condemned Behe for his abysmal knowledge of probability and statistics (which Behe received assistance from none other than Bill Dembski). And I have to presume it is because Behe opted to emphasize the reality of common descent (even more so than he did in “Darwin’s Black Box”).

Dembski’s been quite good at invoking Arafatesque speak in his public comments and writings with respect to his acceptance of common descent. I am inclined to suspect that depending on who his intended audience is, he may (or may not) emphasize it.

But on a concluding note, I strongly agree with you here, with one potential caveat:

To bring this slightly back on topic, I think we should bug the DI, and Coulter, and Stein to state exactly what they think of some of the more cartoonish creationists like the Hovinds. Let’s not let them get away with mere “distancing.”

If we do so, however, we ought to be prepared for the possibility that they’ll strike back, by rubbing into our faces, the most outlandish behavior from the likes of Dawkins and Myers, and perhaps, even insinuate that their excesses are typical “Darwinist” behavior against evolution denialists like themselves.

Appreciatively yours,

John

John Kwok Wrote:

If we do so, however, we ought to be prepared for the possibility that they’ll strike back, by rubbing into our faces, the most outlandish behavior from the likes of Dawkins and Myers, and perhaps, even insinuate that their excesses are typical “Darwinist” behavior against evolution denialists like themselves.

They do that anyway ate every opportunity. So if they weasel out of a question about Hovind (or AIG, etc.) only to change the subject to more bashing of Dawkins and Myers, they will just show more people that they are no better than the Internet trolls who do just that.

The one thing that drove me crazy was that Shermer forgot to remind Hovind that you can’t carbon date LIVING ****ing organisms!!

True, but I’m more concerned if they were to go out on an all-out offensive. For example, I will admit that I do receive e-mails from conservative organizations (which I’ll look at selectively, depending on whom is commentating, e. g. Buchanan (ignore), Coulter (ignore), Morris (read)). Yesterday I received a “friendly” reminder on the latest evils of “Darwinism” in the form of an advertisement for Benjamin Wiker’s newest tome of mendacious intellectual pornography - whose central premise demonstrates how and why Darwinian thought is evil and responsible for genocide, racism, etc. etc. - courtesy of a Human Events e-mail. It made me wonder whether they might opt to join forces with ICR or AiG (or both) and decide to “blow the whistle” on the likes of Dawkins and Myers, for example:

Frank J said:

John Kwok Wrote:

If we do so, however, we ought to be prepared for the possibility that they’ll strike back, by rubbing into our faces, the most outlandish behavior from the likes of Dawkins and Myers, and perhaps, even insinuate that their excesses are typical “Darwinist” behavior against evolution denialists like themselves.

They do that anyway ate every opportunity. So if they weasel out of a question about Hovind (or AIG, etc.) only to change the subject to more bashing of Dawkins and Myers, they will just show more people that they are no better than the Internet trolls who do just that.

John Kwok said:

Yesterday I received a “friendly” reminder on the latest evils of “Darwinism” in the form of an advertisement for Benjamin Wiker’s newest tome of mendacious intellectual pornography - whose central premise demonstrates how and why Darwinian thought is evil and responsible for genocide, racism, etc. etc. - courtesy of a Human Events e-mail.

This is another example of mind-boggling irrationality. Let’s suppose an ironclad case could be made that accepting “Darwinism” drove people to rape, murder, and eat their own children. How would that in any way constitute evidence against the theory’s scientific validity?

I’m going to retrieve that e-mail again and post some of its “salient” points, which you should recognize quickly as belonging to the David Klinghoffer / Ben Stein mode of reasoning:

Dean Wentworth said:

John Kwok said:

Yesterday I received a “friendly” reminder on the latest evils of “Darwinism” in the form of an advertisement for Benjamin Wiker’s newest tome of mendacious intellectual pornography - whose central premise demonstrates how and why Darwinian thought is evil and responsible for genocide, racism, etc. etc. - courtesy of a Human Events e-mail.

This is another example of mind-boggling irrationality. Let’s suppose an ironclad case could be made that accepting “Darwinism” drove people to rape, murder, and eat their own children. How would that in any way constitute evidence against the theory’s scientific validity?

As promised, courtesy of Regnery Publishing - which publishes both the e-mail newsletter this came from and risible mendacious intellectual pornography from many of the DI’s “brilliant” cast of characters - you should take a look at this rather insipid hype-driven drivel:

Casting aside Darwinism’s politically correct veneer, The Darwin Myth reveals:

The Darwin Myth: Darwin insisted that evolution must be godless to be scientific.

Charles Darwin didn’t “discover” evolution—he just put his name on it. (It was explored in the 17th Century, long before his time.)

Although not Darwin’s intention, Darwinism provides an open rationale for eugenics, genocide and racism

Darwin’s own theory supported natural slavery—an institution he detested

Many of his best friends and allies criticized Darwin’s theory, and he never definitively refuted their objections

From Darwin’s obsession with making evolution his own to his belief that progress meant the advance of secularized science against religion, Wiker shows how Darwin’s legacy set atheism as the default position of the scientific community and irrevocably divorced God from science.

Dean Wentworth said:

Let’s suppose an ironclad case could be made that accepting “Darwinism” drove people to rape, murder, and eat their own children.

How could it? Those things are all direct results of christianity. :P

And if any creationist has a problem with being libeled in this way, go fuck yourself. You don’t get to lie about scientists for decades and falsely equate them to Nazis and then turn around and whine when someone gives you a taste of your own medicine.

It’s disgusting how creationists will spend a lifetime spreading lies without the slightest hint of remorse, but accuse them of raping a piglet ONCE and they get all indignant.

… but accuse them of raping a piglet ONCE and they get all indignant.

What is the age of consent for a pig anyway? If it was a willing, adult, pig, then maybe we’re getting all wound up over nothing. After all, it probably gets lonely in that big’ol, empty museum at night…

The only thing that disturbs me is that the believe the argument between creationism and science are equal arguments. The Bible is about human morality and not science.

match sites Wrote:

The Bible is about human morality and not science.

See my comment of June 1, 6:35 AM on this thread.

My personal guess is that it was written as a moral guide, but with “best guess” origins stories to answer the inevitable questions of “so how did it all begin?”

Unfortuately, even though the origins accounts have been thoroughly discredited - even St. Augustine suspected ~1600 years ago that they needed some updating - some people cannot let go of them for fear that the moral guide would be invalidated without that “anchor.” Yet not all evolution-deniers and anti-evolution activists think alike in that sense. Some (usually the rank-and-file deniers) are just confused about the is/ought fallacy, and are unaware that the origins accounts come in mutually contradictory versions (YE, OE, etc.), of which at most one could be the correct one (and in fact none are). Meanwhile, some activists like Michael Behe agree that the Bible is not to be read as a science book, and concede nearly all of the “what happened when” of evolution. Yet amazingly, some of the staunchest Biblical literalists rave about Behe, while ignoring activists who think much more like them. The reason I think is that Behe and other IDers “focus like a laser beam” (pardon the Medved phrase) on “Darwinism” and generate all the feel-good sound bites without drawing attention to the flaws and contradictions in the origins accounts that their audiences want to believe.

match sites said:

The only thing that disturbs me is that the believe the argument between creationism and science are equal arguments. The Bible is about human morality and not science.

If the bible is about human morality, it’s a piss-poor load of shit on that subject too. Human sacrifice, punishment of the innocent, stoning nonbelievers, genocide, countless pointless idiotic rules, but not a single word against slavery.

A four-year-old could come up with a better moral guide than the bible. Why is so much of our society dumber than four-year-olds? Worse yet, why do they treat their utter idiocy as a VIRTUE?

Frank J,

Maybe you recall Ken saying this too when you heard in February, but two weeks ago, he observed that even Saint Augustine had advised that Genesis should not be taken literally as a factual account of the origin and creation of the world.

Best,

John

||The one thing that drove me crazy was that Shermer forgot to remind Hovind that you can’t carbon date LIVING ****ing organisms!!||

I always make the analogy science claims thermometers can give an accurate reading of the room’s temperature. Okay, so a person puts the thermometer right near the window with the sun shining right on it. He then notes after a couple hours according to the thermometer the room is 90f when clearly with the air conditioning going full blast and everyone walking around in sweaters it’s 68f. So therefore based on this reading, science cannot claim thermometers can ever give an accurate reading. Uh huh. A tool to measure something is only good if you use it properly.

Yeah, I was surprised Shermer had claimed he was not aware/not heard of Hovind’s “problems” with inaccurate c14 datings (the snail chestnut). This is crap his father has been shoveling for years. There’s so much material out there on Hovind talking points, I don’t know why Shermer doesn’t brush up on them. Or at least have the talk.origins “how good are those young earth claims” page open which is pretty much a point by point refutation of every Hovind chestnut.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hov[…]howgood.html

as well as the index of creationist claims

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

It would have zinged boy Hovind good if Shermer pointed out a refutation for this claim has been out there since 1994. He and his father should know about it. Why does he ignore the refutation and keep trotting out the dis-proven claim? Is he that ignorant of the so called debate? Hovind seems to want to wear the science mantle but real science doesn’t ignore the extant criticism of claims.

I also noticed boy Hovind was using the same spiel his pa used… same little folksy catch phrases like “fluff and feathers” and “folks, you’re welcome to believe that but it’s not science” etc. Although elder Hovind delivered them with more practised zeal. Boy Hovind was like “insert folksy comment 187 at this point”.

At least he never claimed science argues bananas evolved from a rock.

You can download the debate:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3H6BZDI4

I love how even the hosts on thsi conservative station think Hovind is a huckster.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on May 30, 2009 5:51 PM.

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