debating christian new earth creationists/muslim creationists
I see on youtube a pretty lively debate concerning the theory of evolution. If you follow the debate a while, you start realizing a few things. Thats why I would like to give a few tips especially to newbies in the debate, but some may also be of interest to veterans.
1. many of them at first appear pretty simple, if you think all of them are, watch this video :
if you still dont know what i am talking about, try this 2 videos from the national center for science education :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppMU081Ge9Y thats just the first part, all parts are pretty helpfull
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pItVGYa863k its a talk by eugenie scott "creatiomism, still crazy after all these years"
both videos are very helpfull, even to old veterans in the field debating creationists. Those people debate fundamentalist christians for a long time now, have won many battles against them, helped win the dover trial etc. SO LISTEN TO THEIR ADVICE! It will help you understand the debate.
2. Especially if you are a scientist, DONT DEBATE THEM. By debating them you admit that there is something to debate, but there isnt. You might give them legitimacy they dont have. They might use you to deceive the public. If its a public debate, try to get help from the national center for science education, you will need it. Very often the simple looking guy can be a skilled debater trying to trick you into a fight you are not ready for. Now for other people on youtube videos, here you also have to be carefull. If you debate, keep a few rules in mind, because especially under videos that have many viewers, there are people who try to have discussions with you. Its part of a propanda war that is going on for many years now. Some of them are really ust simple guys, so best is to have the discussion via PM. Dont have it publicly. If he insists on it, he might be someone trained for things like that. I will give a few simple tips later here for simple debates with your average joe.
3. DONT DEFEND EVOLUTION
i know this sounds crazy at first but listen, its important. This is not a scientific debate, this is a political one. Just defending evolution doesnt help 1 bit. If you really have to bring evolution in the debate, ALLWAYS compare ID and evolution, and show who has the better explanation. The thing is this, evolution as a theory is not perfect, no scientific theory is. But its the best thing we have, so show it in comparison, that helps much more. Show that you can answer much better then ID.
4. DONT LET THEM LEAD YOU
they will ask you all kind of questions, preferably from different fields, and especially in a life debate you wont have all the answers. Often their at first innocent sounding questions have a certain goal, and quicker then you think he has corned you admitting you dont have all the answer, admitting evolution isnt perfect. So dont let them get there. Ask back, try to lead the discussion yourself.
5. GO TO CREATIONIST WEBSITES
You have to know all their arguments to fight them properly. I know its hard to bear that crap, but it will help you a lot. If you dont know how to counter certain claims, use sites like talkorigins.org . If its too har to bear the original, at least try series like "why we laugh at creationists" by thunderfoot
5. NOW FOR SOME TRICKS :
1. ask him if he ever flew a plain. He will say yes, then ask him why he bets his life on 1 scientific theory, and cant trust another. Try similar tricks to show him how often he believes in experts and why, that might make him think why he singles out 1 scientifc theory, and trusts all the rest. Pretty much the only way out (other then admitting he is a hypocrit ^^) is to say evolution would be unscientific. So be ready to show why that is not true.
2. instead of defending evolution, let him defend ID. After all they claim its a new idea, so they have the burden of proof. Be ready to counter those "proofs", and show how and why you have the better answer.
3. show him that this is not a legitimate scientific debate, but a propaganda war. Lay open the lies of his idols, to show him he was tricked.
One reminder : this is not a scientific debate. The proponents if creationism/ID tried in the past to give the impression that there is a legitimate debate going on. Since they have learned in the past they cant win against the experts, they now try to have a public debate, to show politicians how much interest there is in ID, and that it should be taught in schools. Their goal is not to win, but to get their opinion into the schools. Have that in mind when discussing this.