Jan. 8th, 2011

pictor: (Default)
Well I got on to a rather extensive online (civilized) debate with a creationist over the last couple of days, all starting from a youtube comment I left on the debate between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair. Not only a creationist, but a full on young earth, evolution does not exist, the bible is literal unvarnished truth in every word. The interesting point is that, as much as I think his position is untenable and doesn't match the evidence, he is actually very well .... ok, let's go with "informed" on his position. His youtube channel has a plethora of creationist videos (some of it nonsense, but some of it kind of interesting), he is a professor at a university in Korea, has been an active creationist debater for 20 some years, and was pretty good at putting together an intelligent comment.

I watched some of his videos (waaaaaay too many to watch more than a few). Some were quite frankly insulting, but some brought a few interesting points. There were some interesting claims made in support of young earth and flood theory that I had to admit I couldn't readily answer right away, and had me scrabbling to do some online research to see what contradictory research has been done. I even learned some brand new creationist arguments (I had never even heard of polonium halos before, it was a brand new one on me). There is some debunking research, but if I am intellectually honest, I really need to read more before I feel I am sufficiently informed to say why it can't be used as an argument for a young earth (or...as the case may be, have to adjust my understanding).

There is a frustrating things that happens in these debates (and it happened with us) in that both sides proclaim their evidence is overwhelming, and the other side's evidence is extremely fragile. The difference is I feel that evolutionists (at least the one's with integrity) really do want the truth. Wherever the evidence leads, and evolutionists welcome being wrong. Creationists want to be right, more than they want to know an objective truth. If evidence can be perceived to support creation, it will be, if evidence speaks against creation, they will try and find a flaw in the evidence to feel justified in dismissing it. Finding flaws in evidence is of course a laudable goal, but it should be applied to the evidence in support of your theory as well.

I really need to see a debate between a well informed creationist, and an accomplished evolutionary biologist. I really want to see the debates rage on polonium halos, the K-T boundary and its iridium content, the Cambrian explosion, evolutionary intermediaries, macro-evolutionary speciation, and all the rest of it. I've watched many debates on religion, or god, but on evolution vs creation, I've mainly only see lectures and presentations (on both sides). I am passingly familiar with a lot of th arguments, and still very comfortable with my understanding of evolutionary theory, but I want to hear the challenges, and the responses, so I can progress beyond "passingly".

My phone bandwidth this month will be higher than average...I watched a lot of these videos on my phone.

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