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Author Topic:   Debating Creationists: Ken Miller Agrees with Me!
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Message 1 of 1 (543851)
01-21-2010 9:30 AM


Ken Miller is a prominent biologist, a professor at Brown University, author of the popular science textbook Biology with Joe Levine, and witness for the plaintiffs in the Dover ID trial of 2005.

And Ken Miller agrees with me about how to debate creationists.

In the March 12th Podcast (scroll down) of the The Skeptics' Guides to the Universe there occurred this exchange between Steven Novella and Ken Miller:

Novella: Reading your take down of Casey Luskin and dealing with them ourselves I just can't help but feeling about the guys at the Discovery Institute that they are so intellectually dishonest and disingenuous that I can't escape that conclusion whenever I read what they write, which I do more often than I probably should for my own sanity. What do you think about that? First of all, do you agree with that assessment? And second, how can we make that more plain to the public that, really, these are intellectual scoundrels?

Miller: Well, I try really hard not to look too deeply into the motivations of people I strongly disagree with, in part because when someone raises a series of points that I think are bogus, like Mr. Luskin did earlier this year, I think the least effective way to get back at them is an ad hominem attack in which you say you're intellectually dishonest, you're lying, and so forth.

I think the most effective way is to say, okay, let's see what Mr. Luskin said, here's point number 1, here's point number 2. Here's why point number 1 is incorrect, here's why point number 2, and so forth. Because what you then don't degenerate into is a whole bunch of name calling. And what you do show people is that, quite frankly, the evidence and the facts are on your side.

So I may secretly harbor some of the same sentiments that you just expressed about people who work and write for the Discovery Institute, but I don't think that expressing those views are the most effective way to combat them. I think the most effective way is with the facts.

Did the read that last part: "The most effective way is with the facts." And that's what I believe, too, and that's what moderation here at EvC Forum attempts to enforce.

PS: Here's a link to Miller's reply to Luskin that he mentions: Smoke and Mirrors, Whales and Lampreys: A Guest Post by Ken Miller


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

    
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