a bit of help

ifywar
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a bit of help

i need a small bit of help. i am a high school student, and in my gr. 11 ancient history class there are 7 creationists, including the teacher, who even told us she was creationist. a girl (who is actually quite good looking, but i digress) who sits in front of me is a GREAT debater for creationism, not even kidding, she seems like the next kent hovind. i am a mediocre debater, having only been in 2 formal ones, so i keep losing whenever i try to go up against her. does anyone have any debate advice, along with good info?


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Welcome to the forums. I'd

Welcome to the forums.

 

I'd recommend starting here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/argument_and_debate_forms_and_techniques_part_1

This is an 8 part series of essays written by one of the mods here, Hambydammit.  It isn't written specifically about creationism, but is pretty fantastic for argument and debate in general.  It will help you recognise and show people where her arguments are logically failing, and help you with your own arguments a lot as well.


ifywar
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phooney wrote:Welcome to the

phooney wrote:

Welcome to the forums.

 

I'd recommend starting here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/argument_and_debate_forms_and_techniques_part_1

This is an 8 part series of essays written by one of the mods here, Hambydammit.  It isn't written specifically about creationism, but is pretty fantastic for argument and debate in general.  It will help you recognise and show people where her arguments are logically failing, and help you with your own arguments a lot as well.

 

y thnk u. i might as well add that i sort of find it ironic that its my ancient history class where i know the most creationists.

all hail the great and powerful sluffywinks.


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Kent Hovind isn't that

Kent Hovind isn't that bright by the way:

 

 


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There's also lots of real

There's also lots of real help on Youtube etc, debunking Creationism and Intelligent Design. It's simply idol worship baloney. Also check out the Evolution videos. Thanks for caring. Fuck them religious loon hocus pocus separatists .... All is one all, which is also a definition of god, as says the science physics of thermodymamics. Lucky you , finding RRS .... LOL  


Renee Obsidianwords
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I am assuming these

I am assuming these creationists believe a god created the universe..wouldn't one have to prove god first?

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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Tickles on you pretty Renee.

Tickles on you pretty Renee. Me God is pleased ....  


D-cubed
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There has never been a good

There has never been a good or honest creationist debater.  Never has one actually produced evidence for their claims.  Their entire argument is that evolution is wrong therefore creationism is right by default.  The best way to counter creationists is to point that out to them and demand the scientific evidence for creationism and provide references.  Since there has been absolutely no scientific evidence for creationism (they only respond by asking questions, keep them on the defensive), they can't win in a debate.

Every day www.sciencedaily.com has updates on new discoveries relating to the field of evolution.  Not that pointing out the science to a creationist will sway his/her mind, but it dismisses their notion there is no scientific evidence for evolution.

What I like to point out is the genetic similarities humans have to our fellow apes.  We all share the broken gene that codes for vitamin C.  We all have the same number of chromosomal base pairs (humans have a fused pair, which, if unfused would be the same number as the other apes.  Of course all of this will go above a creationist's head because the fact of evolution is proven beyond a reasonable doubt and creationists just aren't reasonable.


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Check out the links below,

Check out the links below, there's  a lot of good stuff there you can use.

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

http://www.creationism.org/genesis.htm

http://www.talkreason.org/

And I'd recommend picking up a copy of the "Counter-Creastionism Handbook", it gives hundreds of creationist arguments followed by scientific and rational rebuttals.  Never avoid visiting a creastionist web-site simply because you don't believe in it.  Knowing your "enemy" is the key to defeating him/her/it in battle.  Good luck.

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." Thomas Jefferson
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Quote: including the

Quote:
including the teacher, who even told us she was creationist.

Have you discussed this with your parents? You might consider this (unless they themselves are creationists), so they can inform the school board and the school administration.

Even in America, creationism hasn't been given the traditional free pass when it comes the classroom (yet).

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Quote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
including the teacher, who even told us she was creationist.

Have you discussed this with your parents? You might consider this (unless they themselves are creationists), so they can inform the school board and the school administration.

Even in America, creationism hasn't been given the traditional free pass when it comes the classroom (yet).

 

im in a catholic school. im taught both evolution and creationism, along with interpretationism (evolution for catholic pussies). alot of teachers are openly creationist. only reason i havent left is because most of my friends go to the catholic school. that and the fact that the school libraries in the local public schools (according to my teacher) ban books including the merchant of venice, and tom sawyer for racism.

all hail the great and powerful sluffywinks.


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Quote:that and the fact that

Quote:
that and the fact that the school libraries in the local public schools (according to my teacher) ban books including the merchant of venice, and tom sawyer for racism.

...Even if that were true (and I'm fairly dubious): welcome to the age of information, where 'banning', 'burning', etc simply no longer has any meaningful impact (thank goodness). Head to Amazon.com and pick them up, or go to a public library or college / university library and see about getting them on inter-library loan (If ever I were to implicate anyone on suspicions of attempting to create a NWO and take-over the world, it'd be the librarians. Those crafty mofos are connected).

 

As for your predicament... I'm not sure what to say. Likely, you'll just have smile, wave and deal with it for now. Prompting your indoctrinated lecturers for evidence is only likely to get you into trouble (especially if your teacher has already demonstrated their dishonesty about the library), and ridicule is only an appropriate weapon to use when you aren't in a subordinate position.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Nordmann
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Hi ifywar Welcome to the

Hi ifywar

 

Welcome to the site.

 

I speak as someone who's been there and done that regarding formal debates against the religious "viewpoint" and there are some things one can bear in mind heading into a debate against any shade of this delusion, especially creationism, which you should never lose sight of no matter how eloquent the deluded person is against whom you are debating.

 

1. They cannot substantiate their argument with fact. They think they can. Indeed some of them are so convinced they can that they will call you a liar to your face should you debunk their sources. But debunk them you should. Creationists actually draw their so-called scientific justifications from a very limited set of texts. Familiarise yourself with those texts and the reasons they are fraudulent or inaccurate.

 

2. The religious mindset, especially when confronted with reasoned and reasonable opposition to its claims to be justifiable, will always always always revert to simple assertion. They will try to do this authoritatively and make it sound like something else, but it is still simply assertion and unfounded. Make it clear from the off that simple assertion is unacceptable as a means of proving anything and don't be afraid to point it out when it occurs, even if it means you begin to sound like a scratched record in doing so (ask your grandparents what the analogy means)  Smiling

 

3. Using a debating tactic which incorporates these two principles will invariably then cause your opponent to take refuge in several well-known responses to successful rebuttal:

a) They will try to ridicule you using points completely irrelevant to the subject. This is known as the ad hominem argument and in fact is not an argument at all. It is a cheap ploy to make the message seem wrong by casting aspersions on the messenger. Respond to this how you like, but keep it dignified. The contrast between your impartiality and their subjective attack on your person will be obvious.

b) They will lie. Amazingly quite often, stating that they did not say what they did, or that their source material says something other than it does, or that you yourself said something other than you did. In a debate you don't always have the chance to pounce on them every time they do this but keep notes as they speak. They tell so many fibs sometimes that you might not always remember all of them when you need to prove them false and this leaves the possibility that the unanswered ones will be believed.

c) They will change the topic completely. Or a variation is to simply excise all reference to an important argument of yours which they cannot counter. Take notes - written or mental - regarding which of your strongest arguments they have chosen to ignore and use them as the main thrust of your next opportunity to speak. This is when they also are inclined to use the "straw man" argument in which they paraphrase your own words badly, add in elements completely of their own, attribute the whole thing to you, and then proceed to demolish it. When they do this it is absolutely necessary to point the fact out. One method is to politely remind them that it is you who they are debating against, not their imagination, and replace their "straw man" with the actual argument you posited while everything is fresh n the audience's mind.

d) They will employ a morally superior tone and/or appeal to emotion. This is a ploy particularly used by religious mindsets who perceive themselves under attack (remember, a rebuttal of any one of their fallacies will be taken as a personal attack on themselves - though it will be phrased as an attack on their god). They have an advantage here, and they know it of course. As a reasonable and rational person you will probably have been inclined to speak in a cnsistently reasonable and rational tone and any attempt to emulate their descent into hysteria will simply make you seem petulant. You have two choices here - continue as you started and hope that your audience is intelligent enough to see through the charade and concentrate on the argument itself, or develop justified indignation as a response. The latter is difficult to do, however genuinely felt it is, whil still retaining a calm inner control over your own arguments. So be careful should you employ it.

e) They will attempt to "outreason" your reasonableness and emulate your own tone to make their points seem equally sane. This gives you an advantage since it allows you to politely correct them when they still insist on employing tactics a), b) and c) above. Then, if this galls them, it is they who run the risk of sounding petulant when their frustration displays itself.

 

As the others said above though, there is no substitute for doing your homework in advance. Creationists don't actually have many arguments at all - simply variations of a theme most of the time. And they have NO good arguments. Know in advance what they are going to say and you can, if you're lucky, debunk them before they've even opened their mouths.

 

Good luck!

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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Quote: does anyone have any

Quote:

does anyone have any debate advice, along with good info?

Hello ifywar

I am a biologist. I can help you a lot with this. If you follow the following instructions, there is no reason you should not be fine

1)      If your opposition is like most creationists, there is a good chance that they will be unfamiliar with basic evolutionary biology. As a result, they may end up attacking a strawman version of evolution, such as arguing that “no biological structure could come about via random chance”. Do not let them get away with this. Make sure your opponents understand entirely what is being discussed. The first thing you should do is exactly what I do: Ask your opponents directly what they understand by “evolution”. Most people think they know what it means, and most of the time they are wrong. The correct answer is this:

deludedgod wrote:

Five theories of the Modern synthesis of neo-Darwinism:

Evolution: Over time, the characteristics of a lineage change.

Common Descent: All organisms have diverged from a common ancestor

Gradualism: Every organism, however different and distant from each other, is  related, some distantly. Radical changes in phenotype and genotype have occured by incremental processes by which lineages diverge from a common ancestor

Gene Frequency: The method by which evolution (the change in lineages) occurs is by changes in gene frequencies of populations. It is the change in proportion of individuals which have certain characteristics that determines the characteristic divergence of a lineage.

Natural Selection: The process by which gene frequencies are altered is characterized by the variations of organisms in a population, and how those variations determine the ability of the organism to survive and reproduce. The selection of alleles over others in a population will accordingly alter the frequency of genetic particles and hence the phenotype of a lineage.

With respect to the centerpiece of the five, natural selection, it can be subdivided into three concepts:

1. Heredity: All organisms pass genetic information from parent to progeny

2. Variation: Within a population of organisms, mutations and sexual recombinations will ensure that there is phenotypic and genotypic variation among the organisms

3. Selection: Those variations and the selection pressure exerted by the environment will determine the most proliferative alleles in the struggle for resources such that the frequency of alleles will change over time

And can be combined to look like this:

According to the Theory of Evolution, all life is descendant from a common ancestor, and the process by which the divergent taxa are produced from a common ancestor is due to the gradual changes in lineages from that ancestor by means of the non-random gradual change in gene frequencies within a population over generations by means of natural selection.

This presents you with an immediate advantage. If your opponent can’t answer this, you’ve already won. You could undermine everything your opponent says since you need only point out that they do not know that which they are supposed to be arguing against.

2)      Nordmann is right. There is a high probability that your opponents will attempt to make an argument on moral grounds. Do not let them. Do not counter argue against it. Note down (take notes) of every time this occurs. When it is your turn to speak, point out the repeated times your opponent has brought up something which is irrelevant to the debate. Remind them to keep on topic. Point out that in the context of the debate (the truth or lack thereof of evolution) any argument attempting to take moral high ground, or arguing about the amorality or immorality of evolution, is ad consequentiam, a form of red herring fallacy.

 

3)      Familiarize yourself with some statistical notions that will help you articulate how evolutionary processes occur, especially if your opposition attempts to argue that evolution is a wholly random process.

 

Although it is an oversimplification, it sometimes helps to think of changes in allele frequency as analogous to chemical kinetics (if you do chemistry, this next part will make much more sense). In chemical kinetics we talk about dynamic equilibrium. This is a point in the reaction where the rate of production of the products is equal to the rate of reversion to the reactants. Hence the concentrations do not change. The Kc is called the equilibrium constant. It is a measure of the ratio of products over reactants at equilibrium. A Kc higher then 1 means the reaction tends toward the products, a Kc less than 1 tends toward the reactants. Similarly, in allele frequency distribution, we can refer to the rate of change of proportion of an allele within a population. For an allele which has no selective advantage, the rate of destruction (death of organisms who carry it) versus production (birth of organisms who carry it) is roughly equal. This simple fact is the basis of the tremendously important Hardy-Weinberg principle. For a chemical reaction, it would be analogous to say that for a Kc of 1, the change in free energy is 0. Any shift in this equilibrium will tend toward the production or destruction of the allele. Even if the shift in probability is tiny, the trend is inevitably going to happen. It's just a basic consequence of the law of large numbers. All evolutionary processes responsible for the formation of any biological structures can be described in terms of rates of proliferation and destruction of alleles in closed breeding populations of size N. The comparative advantage of an allele q within the population can be described by the frequency coefficient, such that for generation n after the introduction of the allele, the frequency will be fn-1.The coefficient f can be described in terms of rate of proliferation of an allele versus rate of destruction. If the population remains the same in size (rate of destruction of individuals is in equilibrium with the rate of production), then f is the common ratio in a geometric sequence tending either toward 1 (every entity in the population holds the allele) or 0 (no entity in the population holds the allele). If f<1, then the allele is destroyed over time. If f>1, then the allele frequency increases over time.

 

4)      Your opponent may change topic to the origins of life. Don’t let them. You’d be amazed at how often this occurs. Point out that the debate pertains to biological evolution and if they wish to discuss chemical evolution, they should have set up another debate.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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ifywar
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but aside from all of this,

but aside from all of this, i still dont understand one thing that the girl showed us. it was a picture of a fossilized human footprint in the same stoone as a fossilized dinosaur footprint.

all hail the great and powerful sluffywinks.


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The answers will only be

The answers will better be found in science, not make believe. Science does not yet  have all the answers, but does religion even ask the real questions? .... religion just says have faith in god.  Umm, but I am god , and I ask seriously what am I , and so is my personal science, as all is one, as is to ask, what are WE?


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ifywar wrote:but aside from

ifywar wrote:

but aside from all of this, i still dont understand one thing that the girl showed us. it was a picture of a fossilized human footprint in the same stoone as a fossilized dinosaur footprint.

Those are not human footprints. Some are even forgeries. Check out the links below to get a better idea on what is really going on with those pesky footprints. Smiling

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_noway.htm

http://paleo.cc/paluxy/paluxy.htm


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Hi, ifywar. I have two

Hi, ifywar. I have two suggestions. First, watch this video by Ken Miller, in which he rips apart Creationism. It is very entertaining, and more importantly, extremely informative.

Second, visit, read, and study the Talks Origins website (http://talkorigins.org/). This is one of the most comprehensive rebuttals to all known creationist arguments. Just do a search for whatever topic has you stumped, and you'll probably find it there. For example, searching for "dinosaur human footprints" finds http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC101.html, which states:

talkorigins wrote:

Claim CC101:

Human and dinosaur footprints have been found together in the Glen Rose formation at Paluxy River, Texas.

Source:

Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 122.

Response:

  1. The footprints reputed to be of human origin are not. For example:
    • Some of the footprints are dinosaur footprints. Processes such as erosion, infilling, and mud collapse obscure the dinosaurian features of some footprints, making them look like giant human footprints, but careful cleaning reveals the three-toed tracks of dinosaurs (Hastings 1987; Kuban 1989).
    • Some of the reputed prints are erosional features or other irregularities. They show no clear human features without selective highlighting.
    • Some of the prints show evidence of deliberate alteration (Godfrey 1985).
  2. The Paluxy tracks are illustrative of creationists' wishful thinking and of their unwillingness to face evidence. Although some creationists have repudiated the Paluxy claim, many others still cling to it (Schadewald 1986).

Links:

Kuban, Glen J. 1996. The Texas dinosaur/"man track" controversy.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy.html

Matson, Dave E. 1994. How good are those young-earth arguments?

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-gc.html#G4d

References:

  1. Godfrey, L. R., 1985. Foot notes of an anatomist. Creation/Evolution 5(1): 16-36.
  2. Hastings, Ronnie J., 1987. New observations on Paluxy Tracks confirm their dinosaurian origin. Journal of Geological Education 35(1): 4-15.
  3. Kuban, Glen, 1989. Color distinctions and other curious features of dinosaur tracks near Glen Rose, Texas. In: Gillette and Lockley, 1989 (see below), pp. 427-440. http://paleo.cc/paluxy/color.htm
  4. Schadewald, Robert J. 1986. Scientific creationism and error. Creation/Evolution 6(1): 1-9, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cre-error.html

Further Reading:

Cole, John R. and Laurie R. Godfrey (eds.). 1985. The Paluxy River footprint mystery -- solved. Creation/Evolution 5(1). (special issue devoted to the topic) http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3868_issue_15_volume_5_number_1__4_23_2003.asp

Gillette, David D. and Martin G. Lockley (eds.). 1989. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (technical)

Hastings, Ronnie J. 1986. Tracking those incredible creationists -- the trail continues. Creation/Evolution 6(1): 20-28. http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5063_issue_17_volume_6_number_1__4_23_2003.asp

Hastings, Ronnie J. 1988. Rise and fall of the Paluxy mantracks. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40(3): 144-155.

Kuban, Glen J. 1986. A summary of the Taylor site evidence. Creation/Evolution 6(1): 11-19. http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5063_issue_17_volume_6_number_1__4_23_2003.asp

Schadewald, Robert. 1986. Scientific creationism and error. Creation/Evolution 6(1): 2-10. http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5063_issue_17_volume_6_number_1__4_23_2003.asp

Browse through the Index of Creationist Claims (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html), and you will find all the familiar claims and their rebuttals. It is very comprehensive.

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