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← [Update 5 Nov -Q&A added to “The Video”]The video! (Jerry Coyne & John Haught)

Functional Atheist's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Functional Atheist

It was hard to determine exactly what the hell point Haught was trying to make. I think it had something to do with the different spheres notion, augmented by the hilarious metaphor that there's a hierarchy of nature which renders our imperfect comprehension of god analogous to a rock's imperfect comprehension of a plant, or a plant's imperfect comprehension of an animal. Haught seemed an amiable a fellow, despite his nonsensical presentation, and apparently expected little more than mutual admiration, accompanied by sage beard-stroking and muttering about mysteries.

By contrast, Coyne came prepared for a fight, and delivered a much more pointed and clear presentation of his point-of-view. He was pugnacious, as he admitted more than once, but he was not rude, snide, or unfair. I saw no attempt to conflate the crimes of specific Catholics (like pedophile priests) with Haught personally.

Haught has only himself to blame for his tepid presentation. His subsequent attack of the vapors--"Oh my, the ad hominem attacks, the incivility, I feel faint"--only diminishes his already tarnished reputation.

Haught's over-reaction is evidence only that he is unaccustomed to having his cherished beliefs directly challenged. He doesn't seem a bad person, but he's apparently such a delicate flower that a debate with Hitch would likely send the man to the hospital if not the morgue.

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 08:16:19 UTC | #886740