Promoting Reason and Science Education
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I just wanna promote our debate this Monday night on http://www.radio-paul.com/
3.54: never has a Billy Madison soundbite been more appropriate.
Will this be archived anywhere? Your YT channel or radiopauls channel or something? It airs at five in the morning where I live.
I hope you’ll be better prepared than Thunderf00t was when he did his debate with the banana man. Ray was clearly more comfortable speaking into a camera, even though the contents of that speech was ridiculous.
It is during a work day for me, so I too hope this is going to be recorded somewhere and linked to.
Likewise hoping they’ll be a recording available afterwards.
I was getting stoked to listen to this before you started playing Bad Religion by Motörhead at the end of the clip. Now it’s a moral imperative.
Looking forward to it!
Listening to Ray Comfort explain evolution is…I don’t know how to describe it…horrifying, and hysterically funny at the same time.
Daniel Finke has a post up explaining why we shouldn’t call people “stupid” and I was actually agreeing with him and thinking I should make an effort to not use that kind of language when I’m commenting on blogs and then…STUPID Ray fucking Comfort comes along…
Oooh, you’re debating him? Excellent! I really hope that the debate is properly moderated and has a reasonable topic.
And for those of a British extract, does old Ray remind you of anyone?
Curse you GEMA!!
Can’t watch it in Germany.
Since Matt and I debate debated Ray Comfort before, this is my main piece of advice. Ray’s biggest weapon is asserting absolute certainty where he has none. He is very persistent about this — “You can’t say with certainty what came before the big bang because science doesn’t know. But I do.”
You should get really really comfortable with this phrase: “No you don’t.” Make sure you match his directness at all times.
Also get real familiar with the parachute analogy, he loves that.
Anyone ever attempt to actually argue Pastafarianism when talking to Bananaman, and argue it using exactly the same arguments which Ray uses?
“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them;” – Thomas Jefferson
It’s probably well past time for ridicule to be used. Man, I wish I was influential so I could try that. I’d probably have a disclaimer right up front, saying “I believe that Ray’s arguments are so completely disingenuous that the absurdity is readily apparent if I were to use those arguments myself. Here, let me show you.”
^In my experience that approach doesn’t tend to get taken seriously by the type of Christians who might otherwise find your arguments valid.
In addition to any arguments from design/first cause/etc. that Ray might be using, Christians often have beliefs about the evidence surrounding things like Biblical history and the incarnation of Jesus Christ that are also supporting their paradigm. Arguing that the FSM is responsible for any design and serves as a first cause just makes you look stupid and irrational to them, since you not only fail to respond to the design and first-cause arguments but you fail to provide an alternative that explains all of their other supposed evidence.
But I dunno, maybe it works for some people; I don’t think I would have been shaken by it nearly as much as I was by exposure to the mindset of actual scientists and the evidence for things like the history of human civilization, world religions, evolution, and cosmology.
Probably. Just me pontificating. I just wish there was a simpler way to demonstrate the sheer absurdity of arguments like Ray’s. He’s not arguing at all that he has evidence – unless you want to grant that something “self evident” is evidence. I sure won’t.
This’ll be interesting. Or, you know, send me into a homicidal rage. But hopefully it’ll just be interesting.
I have a suggestion for your rebuttal round, after Ray has gone past his entertainment point:
I don’t think you can win this, but you could lose quite badly.
Why do you say that, Keith?
Just curious what your reasons are.
The ignorance that the person on the street has toward evolution is the result of creationists in all their myriad forms preventing the classrooms from teaching evolution or for that many nearly any other science. Teach students the thrill that can be found in understanding science and they will have no problem answering Professor Ray’s questions. Then they will tell him to pack up his sky god and and buzz off.
A person(any person)can debate with Ray on God, about as successfully as I can debate with my dog on butt licking.
For him it’s infinitely interesting, personally rewarding, and pays off in the end. There’s just no way I’m going to convince him otherwise, even if to me it’s just a bunch of crap.
I suggest a lot of 8×10″ pictures of transitional fossils and cladograms and the image of Aves within Dinosauria, so that when he says “there are no transitional fossils you can say, “What about Tiktaalik”? [picture] and keep laying them out in front of you if you have a table or scattering them face-up on the floor if you don’t. They’ll distract the viewers from what he’s saying as they try to get a better look at the salamander-frog transitional Gerobatrachus or the early angiosperms from before dicots and monocots. You can include regular organisms by reminding people that earthworms have blood with hemoglobin even though they don’t have a complete circulatory system, so it’s pumped through their five hearts and then sloshes about the body until it gets back to the hearts at the front again. Or that primitive sponges use the same ionic neurotransmitters as we do, with potassium ions, even though they don’t have nerve channels yet. And so on.
This is another tactic I would love to try, but not on Ray, but on those genuinely ignorant. Has anyone ever produced a really good, really large picture that shows the forms from pre-chordates, the forms of their descendants, and so on, going all the way up to several modern species, including humans? I think that picture would be worth a thousand words, and probably a lot more. It won’t work on Ray because he’s either a liar or stupid beyond all measure, but it might help some other people, including those watching the debate.
No, really, anyone? I think this would be amazingly useful, just a couple paths from some pre-chordates to a couple modern species, such as humans, dogs, turtles, sharks, whales. I think it would be eye opening and amazing to a lot of people to see how you can go through gradual steps to go from the common ancestor to modern species. Usually, all I have offhand is to say “Lineus”, but an actual diagram showing each and every known intermediate form for several ancestries would be amazing.
How many times has Comfort been told that evolution does not happen as a sudden development in a single animal that then has no mate?
That clip is pretty old though, isn’t it? Does he still use that argument or has he learned from it?
Nope, he still doesn’t get it.
One request: Please use profanity as you would want to when refuting bullshit. Seriously, this is a waste of a debate, but since you have already decided to waste your time, make it count.
The only way you lose is by maintaining decorum when faced with bullshit.
These last weeks, Ray has revealed he’s very nervous. He deleted several visitor posts informing about the discussion from his blog’s comment section. Looking at how very few believers comment at his blog these days, and how he laid off some of his closest colleagues and reduced his web presence, I speculate he’s losing many more followers than he gains (old age, better ministries, hopefully education). His gimmicks have turned out to cost him much more than the donations and sales they brought in. His comments and video appearances seem much more cranky than they used to. He’s getting old (literally and metaphorically), and it seems he’s somewhat tired of repeating the same silly and ineffective scripted evangelism, watching LW’s accounts dwindle.
I guess Ray knows AronRa is going to, more likely than not, dishearten and inform Ray’s followers*, if any should listen. So Ray tries to have as few as possible of his customers aware of the radio show.
* any accurate information about any topic will work against Ray’s credibility; he’s demonstrated he’s ignorant of most of history, science, current events, philosophy, theology, you name it. He never really, properly studied or researched for anything he ever publishes. I’m convinced that’s precisely the reason he went into evangelism in the first place: he’s just that intellectually lazy and greedy for quick money.
Hopefully, his company’s next public tax returns will show him receiving a significantly reduced salary, from the above-average-tenured-college-professor level he used to reap for the last years.
Site with the live stream is down. Anyone else having the same problem?
Yeah, down for me too.
I lost the stream just at the top of the hour.
Seems like a capacity issue or an out-and-out crash.
Go for a second hour!!!
Sounds like you did pretty well, I don’t know firsthand because I couldn’t listen to it, please update your blog when the full recording it available!
Ray’s failure was complete.
The stupid is strong with him.
It’s a shame he didn’t actually learn anything, and if he did, his inner voice will have it nullified by morning.
It’s on youtube as of now.
Owch…. That was painful. I almost feel sorry for Ray.
Well, maybe not.
I eat my words. I thought he was going to be able to use his stupidity against you. Amazing job at making him crash and burn.
Amazing amazing amazing…
I just listened to the debate, it was awesome. As usual Aron, you were spot on. I love hearing your debates (one of the few that I can actually sit and listen to). Though I’d love to hear another one, knowing Ray it’d probably be a repeat of this one.
Just finished the debate. It was pretty good, better than it could have gone. You did cut him off a lot, which looked a little bad, but perhaps the lesser of two evils of letting him proselytize.
I wish you had more time to probe into how he lied, knowingly lied (redundant), about the chronology of Darwin’s writing of the Origin Of Species and the death of his daughter. Sadly, you just shifted to another topic and time ran out.
After seeing that, yea, I’ve given up what little fancy I might have had to talk to that man. I would never talk to that man. Well, I would put up a challenge of ever single simple verified lie he ever said, and say that either he issues a correction and apology for each one, or I would never debate him. I’m not talking about the hard stuff like evolution, but the really easy stuff like dogs being slabs of meat and suddenly gaining eyes, the above Darwin chronology. He has to be a liar. I refuse to believe that you can be that good of a businessman and that incompetent.
My current analogy for creationist explanations of evolution is to gently explain to Christians that they worship donkeys on sticks. And to add that their concept of evolution is a greater distortion than my concept of Christianity.
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