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Author Topic:   What is the point of this forum?
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3133 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 1 of 139 (535407)
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


Most academic historians refuse on principle to "debate" the Holocaust with Holocaust-deniers, and most scientists similarly refuse to debate evolution with evolution-deniers.

So what is achieved here? Neither side is ever going to change their opinion. The only thing I see is that one side keeps making the other side look extremely stupid, but that can scarcely be counted as an achievement.


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Admin
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Posts: 12557
From: EvC Forum
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Message 2 of 139 (535412)
11-15-2009 7:05 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the What is the point of this forum? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5344
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 3 of 139 (535420)
11-15-2009 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


Entertainment.
This message is a reply to:
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CosmicChimp
Member
Posts: 305
From: Muenchen Bayern Deutschland
Joined: 06-15-2007


(1)
Message 4 of 139 (535421)
11-15-2009 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


The site is a tremendous resource for debaters everywhere. It is the best moderated site on the web (AFAIK). Which in turn makes the first point more valuable. The site is populated by many experts in their field, which also reinforces point one.

Because of its position so high up the rung of internet discussions of evo vs creo, creationists with the most in depth points to make online will eventually come here and then be shown scientifically why their arguments are false. This is a great help to many lurkers as people everywhere are searching for answer.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19544
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 5 of 139 (535422)
11-15-2009 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


education and critical thinking
Hi Blzebub,

What is the point of this forum?

Education.

Neither side is ever going to change their opinion.

But there is no dichotomy, instead you have a spectrum of beliefs, and there are many people reading this site (or using them for references) that are not committed, and that may have been let down by our emasculated school system.

Some people come here disillusioned with YEC teachings, or uncertain about what they were taught about evolution in school, and looking for some real information.

I have been thanked for explanations by some of these people.

If it is one in a thousand, it is worth it.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 590 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 6 of 139 (535426)
11-15-2009 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


Hi, Blzebub.

Blzebub writes:

So what is achieved here?

I've learned (and am still learning) how to debate logically from this forum, which has helped me to no end in my ability to think and reason as a scientist.

-----

Blzebub writes:

Neither side is ever going to change their opinion.

Maybe not overall. I'm still a Mormon, for instance.

But, I have certainly been challenged on, and have changed, many of my original opinions and beliefs about how the world works, how science works, and what I should be doing with my life regardless of which side turns out to be right.

I've also learned to not automatically assume that an atheist is a bad, unpleasant person with whom I would and should never be interested in associating.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 223 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008


(1)
Message 7 of 139 (535429)
11-15-2009 10:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


Blzebub writes:

Most academic historians refuse on principle to "debate" the Holocaust with Holocaust-deniers, and most scientists similarly refuse to debate evolution with evolution-deniers. So what is achieved here? ...

This implies that you haven't been noticing the quantity of posts here that involve agnostics arguing with atheists, or (in "Social and Religious Issues") the faithful arguing among themselves about their various interpretations of scripture.

Have you really not been seeing that? (Seems kind of hard to miss.) Granted, some of these "intramural contests" tend to show the same level of intransigence that you attribute to the typical "evo-vs-creo" bouts. But, as others have pointed out above, there is ample value for spectators -- lots of posters provide links to really good stuff covering a wide range of interest, along with cogent summaries of points that would otherwise be inaccessible for non-specialists who try to read primary sources.


autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
This message is a reply to:
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Jon
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 8 of 139 (535431)
11-15-2009 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


The only thing I see is that one side keeps making the other side look extremely stupid, but that can scarcely be counted as an achievement.

Not only an achievement, but a monumental victory. Sites like these are not for convincing the debaters, but instead the onlookers. The 13-year-olds whose preachers are telling them silly things and they are confused. The life-long CCoI members who are just starting to wonder what the hell it is they have been falling for all these years.

This site and many like itwhile certainly providing plenty of entertainmentis primarily aimed at the audiences in the stands. The hope is that by watching the whole race and not just the plastic bunny, at least they will be able to see which dog is winning.

Jon


[O]ur tiny half-kilogram rock just compeltely fucked up our starship. - Rahvin
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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slevesque
Member (Idle past 2533 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 9 of 139 (535442)
11-16-2009 12:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


Most academic historians refuse on principle to "debate" the Holocaust with Holocaust-deniers, and most scientists similarly refuse to debate evolution with evolution-deniers.

You forgot that most historians refuse to ''debate'' with Jesus-Deniers, and yet this subject has come up very often here

It is on forums like these that skeptics can discuss. I think it is essential that skeptics of evolution can have places to discuss their opinions. It is essentially BECAUSE of the very reason you said (qualified professionals don't want to discuss it in the public sphere) that forums like these have to exist.

Imagine an instnce a world where the qualified scientists agreed to debate it, and make this a public debate, where the vast majority of the population is reached. Then the young 13 year old who is being told ''crap'' by his pastor, or similarly the other one was raised in a totally atheist family, being fed godless ideas from birth (I'm taking the extremes obviously, I'm not generalizing) would be exposed to debates between scientists, then he could 'watch the whole race' as Jon said. But since this debate does not take place on the public stage (primarily because the proponents of the ToE refuse to take this responsibility), then it is essential that this takes place on the internet, sicne there are no other places where it can have a large audience.

And obviously, on the internet, you will find a lot of scientifically qualified proponents of evolution, but very, very, veyr few on the YEC side (primarily because those that are interested in the subject are already working for CMI, AiG, etc.). And so the debate becomes very one-sided and artificial (since one side is not well qualified and usually don't have a good understanding ot it), but at least the debate takes place.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 10 of 139 (535443)
11-16-2009 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by slevesque
11-16-2009 12:14 AM


The internet
And obviously, on the internet, you will find a lot of scientifically qualified proponents of evolution, but very, very, veyr few on the YEC side (primarily because those that are interested in the subject are already working for CMI, AiG, etc.). And so the debate becomes very one-sided and artificial (since one side is not well qualified and usually don't have a good understanding ot it), but at least the debate takes place.

The internet lets every opinion be heard.

I have been told, on another forum, that scientists are "of satan."

The internet has made it possible for such fringe opinions be spread about as if they had some validity. And some folks, seeing those posts, might actually believe such nonsense.

Websites like this serve the purpose of rebutting such abject nonsense. No one will convince the true believers of anything, but we can at least present a reasoned and logical rebuttal to such fringe beliefs, and in so doing prevent a lot of folks from swallowing those falsehoods.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Phat
Member
Posts: 11131
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


(1)
Message 11 of 139 (535446)
11-16-2009 2:39 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Jon
11-15-2009 10:51 PM


Buster P. Brown, Esq.
Jon writes:

The hope is that by watching the whole race and not just the plastic bunny, at least they will be able to see which dog is winning.

Just remember that every dog has his day!

While Biological Evolution is almost settled scientifically, the idea of the origin of the Cosmos is far from settled.

Critical thinking can go both ways, and should not be used as a means to deify human intellect while debunking the idea of a Creator.

Scientists should stick to science and believers should stay out of the classroom of inquiry.


"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."--C.S.Lewis
* * * * * * * * * *
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.~T.S.Eliot

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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1536 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


(2)
Message 12 of 139 (535452)
11-16-2009 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


So what is achieved here? Neither side is ever going to change their opinion.

I arrived here at EvC as a charismatic evangelical Christian. I despised creationism and was looking for some resources on the web for a book I was intending to write. EvC has been instrumental in taking me out of theism completely. The relentless questioning (none aimed at me I might add) by members such as Nosy, Coragyps, and most especially Crashfrog eventually battered down the doors of my faith and revealed it as the irrational and unnecessary burdan that had been choking me for the past twenty+ years. For that, EvC will always be the most important site on the web to me.

As an aside, whatever happened to Crash? He seemed to quietly slip away around the time of the Purge. I despised his argumentation while he was here, and thought him idiotic much of the time (especially in the 'great' Holmes/Crash vendettas.) It was only after he had gone that I realised what an impact he had had on me.


This message is a reply to:
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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 122 days)
Posts: 3181
Joined: 08-12-2009


(1)
Message 13 of 139 (535462)
11-16-2009 6:55 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by slevesque
11-16-2009 12:14 AM


But since this debate does not take place on the public stage (primarily because the proponents of the ToE refuse to take this responsibility)....

Do you know why that is? Because such debates are always in favor of the creationists. The creationists refuse to debate fairly. I'll be damned if I see one debate take place at a non-religious venue, or on the scientists terms. Just look at any such debate. Hovind, for example. Always at religious places, full of his followers. Hell, the first time I saw that joker, he even had ME fooled. So much so i tried peddling his videos (this, of course, was before I lurked teh webz in search of a better answer. Family members now say I am "confused" and I "need to find jesus to not be confused" because I haven't stuck to the first "neat" thing that came about)

The creationists also LOVE to gish gallop, then claim victory. And for the layperson, it appears as such, since the scientist can't possibly be an expert in every field raised by the creationist (hence the despise for Gish Galloping).

then it is essential that this takes place on the internet, sicne there are no other places where it can have a large audience.

There are also few places for it to be even remotely un-biased.


This message is a reply to:
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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 122 days)
Posts: 3181
Joined: 08-12-2009


(1)
Message 14 of 139 (535463)
11-16-2009 6:56 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by cavediver
11-16-2009 3:49 AM


I arrived here at EvC as a charismatic evangelical Christian.

I would have NEVER guessed that.


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Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2834 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


(1)
Message 15 of 139 (535465)
11-16-2009 6:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
11-15-2009 6:23 PM


So what is achieved here? Neither side is ever going to change their opinion.

I do think you raise a good point; it is something I have often thought. However, I believe we must continue the argument, for the following reason.

In my view as an atheist and accepter of evolution, I find it immensely frustrating just trying to get a straight response out of religious believers and creationists. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to me expressing my exasperation in my arguments. I always regret falling for that trick, because it allows the other side to (fairly) criticise me on that point, although it hasnt escaped my notice that its a tactic that they doubtlessly deliberately employ.

1) Be vague in your assertions, and evasive in your responses;
2) Let your opponent become exasperated and angry;
3) Point out that your opponent has stepped over the line of civilised rational argument;
4) The opponent accepts this and the argument ends without a proper discussion ever taking place.

I dont know if you have ever had to argue with a large bureaucratic organisation, such as a government department or multi-national corporation, but it is exactly the same experience. They implement a set of rules and a system for enforcing those rules, while making it impossible to ever question or identify whoever made up the rules in the first place. This means that if you ever wish to question those rules, youll either be rejected out of hand or just sent round and round in circles. Sometimes youll speak to somebody who sounds reasonable, maybe even sounds sympathetic, but they just seem to have that knack of deflating your sails, side-tracking your argument (forgive the mixed metaphors) and making you think youre better off shutting up rather than continuing to waste your time.

This is what they want.

And so it is exactly why we must never give up the argument, never let them relax and never let them get in a position where they can trample all over us with their irrational, unfounded dogma.


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