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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Geoff has an idea he'd like to share with us

Geoff asked me to post this for him:

I want to throw out an idea to the group: we should do something similar and invite the posters on Ray's blog--and any other believers--to answer.

Lemme know what you think. Below I've posted the questions I recommend including, plus some suggestions to try to encourage people to participate and to get useful information:

True or false: If a dog gave birth to a cat, this event would be good evidence for Darwinian evolution. Briefly explain your answer.

True or false: If a dog transformed into a cat during its lifetime, this event would be good evidence for Darwinian evolution. Briefly explain your answer.

True or false: According to mainstream biology, humans are the most evolved species on earth. Briefly explain your answer.

And a few suggestions:

Let’s be painfully polite.

Let’s not answer these questions ourselves, at least not yet. Doing so could affect the results.

Let’s not criticize or comment on anyone’s posts in the thread. Later, we can dissect the posts, but to prevent this particular thread from becoming a blog war, I think it’ll be better not to have that kind of back and forth.


  1. I think this is an excellent idea. Go for it.


  2. Great idea, but I seriously doubt you'll get any definite answers. Raytards aren't what you would call "bright", but even they know a bear trap when they see one. They know full well that a rational debate is a contest that they are doomed to lose, so, like their cult leader Ray, they will avoid engagement at all costs, opting instead for logical fallacies, threats of hellfire, insults, and the inevitable endless quoting of Scripture.

    Not to piss in your Cheerios or anything, but that's what I've come to expect from Ray and his rabble. You'd do better to not get your hopes up.

  3. Its seems to me, they already know that all of these are wrong, they just choose to repeat them because they need a psychological fuzzy feeling.

    They KNOW that it is wrong, but it's a PATHOLOGICAL problem, not a rational or logical problem.


    Trying to get a straight answer is virtually impossible.

  5. I don't think his idea stands the chance of that of a snowball existing in hell for more than a second or two, but it depends on weather hell is exothermic or endothemic by nature (where the hell is hell, anyway?)

    That just made me wonder; perhaps hell is a nuclear environment, but I digress.

    Fundumbmentalists have no propensity for looking into the actual reality of any question. Most of them cannot fathom the nature of the question to begin, and that is why they retreat to their dark cave of ignorance and relative simplicity of believing in what they call the "truths of the bible."

    I will rspecfully submit to the wishes of this esteemed group and support you in any endeavor to uproot the irrational superstitions of the fundies as well as the astrologers, mystics, mediums etc. /d

  6. Nice try, but we all know who we're dealing with here.

  7. I think most of them don't even register when they're lying. Telling the same untruth over and over again can actually convince your mind that it's true. It can become a pathological delusion, and that can take months of therapy to break. They have trained themselves and each other to trust unfounded assertions, so they automatically take what some apologist website tells them at face falue, because reinforcement of a strong belief is primary compared to checking sources and evaluating arguments logically.
    Some of them are not that far gone though, there are a few we can have fairly reasonable discussions with. The hard thing is finding a way to get them to critically re-evaluate their premises, and from a psychological standpoint this is different for each individual.
    Back before the Iraq war, I commented to someone that a whole company of psychologists need to go to the Middle East to help break the mindset that causes all that irrational behavior. There are at least some hundreds of papers published discussing religious belief from moderate to extreme. The barrier is the social acceptance of religious belief as a 'normal' thing. Belief influences action, but few people are willing to deal with the belief consequentially before it becomes action. I have no answer as to how to educate people who are not willing to accept it.

  8. I agree that it's unlikely any of them will participate, but I do have some suggestions:

    True or false: Archaepoteryx is a true bird and definitely not a feathered dinosaur. Briefly explain your answer.

    If a new species arises by losing a feature, such as a blind cave salamander, is this evolution? Why or why not?

    True or false: The coelocanths that we know from fossils are identical to coelocanths alive today.

    If a population of bacteria become immune to an antibiotic, but this immunity makes them unable to compete with "normal" bacteria in an environment where the antibiotic is absent, has evolution occurred? Why or why not?


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