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← Are Darwin's Theories Fact or Faith Issues?

Are Darwin's Theories Fact or Faith Issues? - Comments

Mango's Avatar Comment 1 by Mango

Dr. Simmons read an article in Scientific American about the evolution of whales -- he devoted literally minutes and minutes to researching this subject. And he seems so confident in his depth of knowledge. Pathetic.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:15:00 UTC | #114354

acidhouser's Avatar Comment 2 by acidhouser

Listened to this last night. PZ absolutely creams the guy. It's almost as if we've started throwing christians to the lions again. I nearly felt sorry for Dr Simmons, but then I remembered he's a creationist. Well done PZ.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:18:00 UTC | #114355

sarah95's Avatar Comment 3 by sarah95

'respected authorities on each side of the issue"??? bah!

I understand why PZ wants to totally slam down this "Discovery Institute" ID nonsense, but WHY do the people on this show want to give any credence to such STUPID non-scientists?!?!

This is just SO infuriating that time after time, people who I know don't really question evolution and know ID is nonsense just put ID people on their shows, presenting them as "experts" or equivalent to real scientists. I know it grabs your attention, but I have to doubt that this KKMS station has any sense of ethics at all.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:24:00 UTC | #114360

sarah95's Avatar Comment 4 by sarah95

All smashing of ID-enablers aside, PZ still did a great job!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:26:00 UTC | #114363

soul_biscuit's Avatar Comment 5 by soul_biscuit

Judging by the filler, I'm fairly confident that KKMS is a Christian radio station, and if they're having fellows from the Discovery Institute on their shows, probably a fairly fundamentalist one. I think they would be classed more as "ID sympathizers" than "ID enablers."

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:37:00 UTC | #114377

Devolution's Avatar Comment 6 by Devolution

I listened to the entire show live and it was an utterly pathetic performance by the cdesign proponentist. It think they called PZ "DR." maybe one time, while Simmons was repeatedly called "Dr. Simmons". And dont even get me started on Simmons closing argument! I need a drink, is it 5PM yet?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:41:00 UTC | #114381

pzmyers's Avatar Comment 7 by pzmyers

KKMS is definitely a Christian talk radio station --young earth creationists through and through. They're promoting a trip to Ken Ham's Creation "Science" "Museum"! Simmons didn't do his research, but that didn't stop him from writing a whole book claiming that there are no transitional fossils...and that kind of tells you all you need to know about the ID movement right there.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:44:00 UTC | #114387

He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 8 by He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy

How PZ manages to keep his cool I'll never know. I've only got an amaturistic enthusiasm for biology and evolution, but I reckon even I could have had a crack at refuting some of the bull that was thrown in his direction - it was that simplistic. However I'd have been too hacked off to be coherent.

Never heard his voice before (though I've read pharyngula from time to time), but the chap is an excellent speaker, very clear and very direct. I hope his students consider themselves lucky.

edit - ah, hello Dr Myers, great job.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:46:00 UTC | #114389

Phoenix42's Avatar Comment 9 by Phoenix42

I still wonder whether debating these people really helps! Here's a personal view:

My parents are Christians and they look at the occurance of debates such as this. They see there's a debate and assume, fairly naturally, that there's a genuine split between two groups of scientists. They don't care for the details, listening to the arguments etc. The argument from authority is all they need - the preacher says ID is correct and they see the debates as evidence that scientists are changing their world-view.

Edit: don't get me wrong. I'm very grateful to the various scientists who stop their research and teaching to refute this kind of nonsense. But, I wonder what the overall goal of engaging is!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:49:00 UTC | #114394

Devolution's Avatar Comment 10 by Devolution

KKMS's byline for their logo is "Spirited Talk Radio" and guess which show was on right before PZ's debate? Thats right, everyones favorite banana loving duo, Kurt Cameron and Ray Comfort! We should all go on the Creation Science Museum trip! Think about how much fun we will have. We can all wear our scarlet "A" t-shirts and sing Bad Religion songs on the bus! Come on who's with me?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:50:00 UTC | #114396

Godless Heathen's Avatar Comment 11 by Godless Heathen

PZ servin' up the Simmons meatloaf!

Stick a fork in him, he's done!!!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 10:55:00 UTC | #114402

AnthSynthasome's Avatar Comment 12 by AnthSynthasome

PZ - You made this Minnesotan nonbeliever proud. How did you resist the temptation to hang up?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:00:00 UTC | #114404

jakelovatto's Avatar Comment 13 by jakelovatto

Is there a clearer demonstration of incompetence and wilful deception of the creationist critique of evolution. It would be laughable if it didn't have so much political power.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:01:00 UTC | #114407

Storeo's Avatar Comment 14 by Storeo

Lovely to listen to.

Well played PZ.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:03:00 UTC | #114408

decius's Avatar Comment 15 by decius

Excellent job, PZ.
In spite of the hostile environment, you literally steamrolled the "ignorant wacko".

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:31:00 UTC | #114425

scoobie's Avatar Comment 16 by scoobie

Thank you and god bless you both...

Nearly spat my coffee out when he said that at the end.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:36:00 UTC | #114431

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 17 by Richard Dawkins

PZ is magnificent. Brilliant. Well-informed, good-humoured and devastatingly effective.

I was amused at how, when he called Simmons ignorant (of whale fossils) both Simmons and the chairman objected as though PZ had violated the decencies of debate by using a word like 'ignorant'. To call somebody 'ignorant' as a generalised insult might be ruled out by the rules of politeness. But to call somebody ignorant when he has just unequivocally DEMONSTRATED his ignorance, in a subject about which he had written a whole book, is simply a matter of fact, and not impolite at all.

Well done PZed.

Interestingly, Dembski's 'Uncommon Descent' website carried a thread to discuss the debate on the fly, as it happened. However, when they saw that their man Simmons was being slaughtered, and when they saw that even their own posters were (however reluctantly) recognizing this, they abruptly closed the thread down. Fortunately, somebody had saved it, and you can see it at;f=14;t=1274;st=24870#entry95440


Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:36:00 UTC | #114432

jaytee_555's Avatar Comment 18 by jaytee_555

About the kindest thing anyone can say about Dr. Simmons is that if he were a geographer, he would be a flat-earthist. If he owned a telescope, he would be an astrologer. If he were a chemist, he would be trying to turn lead into gold. If he were a presidential advisor, he would be examining the entrails of a goat. It appears he is actually a medical man; I wonder who was keeping an eye on his leeches while he was busy debating?

It was really quite pathetic. He just didn't have a clue, did he? To say he had got everything utterly wrong would be to compliment him.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:44:00 UTC | #114439

AnthSynthasome's Avatar Comment 20 by AnthSynthasome

Why is Simmons so offended by being called "ignorant"? Dawkins writes, I believe correctly, that "Not only is ignorance no crime. It is also, fortunately, remediable." It is not as if PZ called Simmons "...stupid, insane, or wicked." I daresay, Simmons should be thankful for PZ's merciful word choice - he could have used other equally accurate terms, albeit more acerbic (e.g. stupid). Good riddance.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:45:00 UTC | #114443

AllanW's Avatar Comment 19 by AllanW

I posted on pharyngula but wanted the chance to echo the praise here, PZ. It was very welcome to hear the muscular way you dealt with obvious and deliberate lies as well as being unequivocal in reply to the various canards being repeated. Nice job.

BTW I think you get to crack open a nice bottle of wine and bask in the glow of the well-earned praise of the poster above :)

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:45:00 UTC | #114440

decius's Avatar Comment 21 by decius

Please join me in a standing ovation to the mighty PZ.

P.S. Josh, do we really need to replicate the disclaimer regarding the alleged profanity contained in Pharyngula, that originally appeared in the creotards' website?
I think people here have tougher skins and may more likely take offence from the patent nonsense paraded in Uncommon Descent.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 11:52:00 UTC | #114448

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 22 by Steve Zara

While we are in a praising PZ mood, I would like to recommend his "There is no Ghost in your Brain" lecture, available from Google video:

I recently discovered this, and it is a real pleasure to listen to.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 12:09:00 UTC | #114451

Geoff's Avatar Comment 23 by Geoff

Simmons was so weak, it was cruel to set PZ up against him. Just about anyone on this board has seen his tired points destroyed time and time again.

Just a theory!
Descended from monkeys!
Gaps in the fossil record!
No transitional fossils!
Argument from design!

and that's just his opening!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 12:09:00 UTC | #114452

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 24 by robotaholic

awesome - I love pz's blog- read it everyday heh

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 12:33:00 UTC | #114456

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Comment 25 by Eamonn Shute

I posted this comment in the forums:

"Should PZM have taken part in this broadcast?

Richard has said that he refuses to debate with creationists because it gives then the oxygen of publicity and gives the impression that there is a genuine scientific issue. On the other hand, if PZM (and others) had refused to debate with Simmons then Simmons would have been able to spout his nonsense unopposed (which was the original plan by the radio station).

I am undecided."

I wonder if Richard is having second thoughts after PZM did such a good job in this debate?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 12:54:00 UTC | #114458

Deepthought's Avatar Comment 26 by Deepthought

Whenever I hear debates I take someone seriously up until they say something so stupid that a ninth grader can refute them. In this debate I stopped taking Simmons seriously when he cited the "evolution is just a theory" argument. I just listened to the part about "teach the controversy" and I have to say that Intelligent Design isn't actually being considered in the scientific community. THE FLAWS YOU CITE DON"T EXIST!!!!! Sorry just heard him saying that there are "flaws" in evolution.

Oh it's clear that they are more supportive of Simmons just by merit of reading out all his books and only saying that PZ is a proffessor of biology.

This is the first time I heard the "birth" complexity argument. What is the proper refutation because I don't know the science behind it?

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 13:00:00 UTC | #114462

Lana's Avatar Comment 27 by Lana

I read PZ's blog every day and I am definitely not a scientist. I think he and other scientists should debate these guys because they just might reach someone - not necessarily the participants but the kids who may be forced to listen to this stuff.

I know you risk giving credence to the other side, but I think it's worth it. Information is always good.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 13:06:00 UTC | #114466

Skep's Avatar Comment 28 by Skep

P Zed was outstanding. I especially appreciate his willingness to go on the offense and call attention to the tactics of his opponents and even calling Simmons' proposed topic "Is Darwinism fact or faith?" the stupid attempt at deflection that it was.

PZ seems especially well suited in temperament to take on this ignorant Fellow who would have tried RD's patience. What works for PZ may not work for others without his style and knowledge.

Go P Zed!

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 13:07:00 UTC | #114467

ohdaddy's Avatar Comment 29 by ohdaddy

Oh my, that was painful.

I always start to feel sorry for these people that attempt to debate solid science with supposed legitimate challenges to established scientific theorem, my compassion quickly evaporates as they endeavor to maintain how objective they are, how they are not Christians, have no belief in a creator and are only attempting to enforce the rules of justifiable scientific inquiry.

They all seem to have the same shtick. It’s very disingenuous to say the least.

I though PZ was wonderful, even though it was shooting fish in a barrel.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 13:11:00 UTC | #114468

Adam Morrison's Avatar Comment 30 by Adam Morrison

"Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute"

That pretty much sums up his integrity as a scientist. I wonder if he's also got a degree in 'Pixie Studies' or maybe he's a 'Genieologist'.

PZ comes across a little rude at first, but it's certainly justified. Though I think the poofist listeners probably jumped to the 'arrogant evolutionist' assumption right away.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 13:12:00 UTC | #114469