Drawn In

A relative sent me a video of a debate between an evolutionary biologist and a creationism advocate. Better yet, a young-earth creationist. I’ve sent him back a rather detailed critique of what I saw — suffice to say here that it was more of a farce than a debate.

The biologist was quite simply a terrible speaker, and the creationist spent most of his time playing word games and avoiding the issue while tossing out cheap shots. I’d like to say that I did my best to approach the debate with an open mind, but the word games set me on edge right away. As far as I could tell, the creationist conceded every significant factual issue about evolution raised by his opponent, at least as a functional matter, but he found a way to fold his concessions into phrasings that made it look like his young-earth creationism made more sense. Fundamentally, he missed the central point — the subject of the debate was whether there was scientific validity to evolution, not whether young-earth creationism is an ‘equal’ theory. But the bulk of his time was spent either making semantic maneuvers or positing young-earth explanations of phenomena like coal column or the Grand Canyon.

Here, I want to opine that I need to learn to not get drawn in to that sort of thing. I was up until quite late writing about the astonishing number of intellectual problems I found with the creationist’s presentation, when I should have been getting some shut-eye. I learned a lot of stuff about how young-earth creationists think, which was worth my time, but I could, in theory, have extended the project out over several days instead.

I think it’ll be more or less straight to bed after dinner tonight.

(Cartoon by XKCD.)

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.