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How can anyone fall for such transparent dishonesty? - Comments

jameshogg's Avatar Comment 1 by jameshogg

'Humanity is overrated.' - Dr Gregory House.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:20:17 UTC | #520160

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 2 by Steve Zara

Or should we should we simply recognize that some people are too stupid to follow an argument and write them off?

It saddens me to say this, but yes. It's a combination of actual stupidity and stubbornness. The only way some people are likely to change is out of embarassment - if enough of their peers have a different view, they won't want to seem out of place. But they won't change their views because of reason.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:20:45 UTC | #520161

zirconPhil's Avatar Comment 3 by zirconPhil

"Do you think it is worth trying to explain to people who are so incapable of following simple logical reasoning? Or should we should we simply recognize that some people are too stupid to follow an argument and write them off?"

Personally, I am not too sure it is all stupidity. There is certainly a significant stupid factor in it, but I think many creationists are probably looking for reassurance that their belief is the right one in the face of all the strong evolution evidence, so they just need a half-baked video to make them feel better and comfortable. Example, this is exactly what Fox news does. They reassure people of their own right wing christian view on regular news because all other news sources are 'liberal' (eg presenting multiple sides of an argument, which make them feel uneasy). They aren't interested in hearing con-arguments, just pro-arguments.

So I would categorize it as the perfect combination of poor scientific understanding, wishful thinking and denialism.

To answer the question, is it worth trying to explain to this type of person? I say no. There is so much videos and texts on the proof for evolution that those who are not in denial and moderately capable of understanding would, in due time, probably come to the right conclusions.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:25:42 UTC | #520164

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 4 by Stevehill

Or should we should we simply recognize that some people are too stupid to follow an argument and write them off?

Yes. P T Barnum was right. There's one born every minute. We can't legislate for it, and I doubt we can change it.

In a perfect world maybe only people who can demonstrate some intellectual coherence and powers of reasoning would be allowed to vote, or indeed breed... but I recognise that might be slightly controversial!

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:31:14 UTC | #520168

Balance_Maintained's Avatar Comment 5 by Balance_Maintained

RD, I might offer a slightly different perspective here. While you see the video as something that all creationist are going to fall for, I seriously doubt it. I haven't been a member of a religious organization for quite some time, but it was actually videos like this that started me asking questions and doing my own research again. (I had been truly apathetic to it one way or the other for a number of years after I quit attending church.) But it was a similar video that sparked a renewed interest in studying the evolution/creation debate in more detail. A side link on the video was one of your interviews on atheism, which led me here, which has in turn pointed out new areas for me to research. So, while on the surface, it may seem like a bad thing, don't underestimate human curiosity.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:31:55 UTC | #520169

jameshogg's Avatar Comment 6 by jameshogg

Can I just ask... how many people out there know that science is about constantly aiming to disprove theories instead of proving them? Is there any kind of survey examining whether people know this or not?

Surely, if you told anyone about confirmation bias, and that when someone believes in something they will only see evidence that supports the belief and ignore anything that contradicts it, people would surely see how that can be a recipe for confirming ANY belief? Even down to flying spaghetti monsters if you pushed hard enough?

Maybe if we raised that a lot more explicitly...

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:35:04 UTC | #520172

Canasian's Avatar Comment 7 by Canasian

Pretend each person you're able to reason with as not a life being saved but a mind being saved. Don't give up.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:49:12 UTC | #520185

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 8 by mordacious1

I'm sure that the students shown are from a creationist university. Their parents raised them to believe this crap and then sent them somewhere where it will be reinforced. I'd like to think that this doesn't make them stupid, but victims of unfortunate circumstances. What will happen to them after they leave these centers of ignorance is anyone's guess.

Should we give up on them? No, certainly not. The more information that we put out there means the more likely they will be exposed to a different perspective. We can't save them all, or even the majority, but the few we do bring toward knowledge are worth the effort. I've seen people leave this environment, we have some on this website. All it took was reading a Dawkin's book or Hitchens. Or maybe they stumbled on this website or saw something on YouTube. Perhaps they talked with someone who convinced them that they may not be right.

No, I don't think the problem is stupidity. I think the ones that stick with it (religion) are stubborn and can't change. Sometimes it's fear. Being resistent to change does not mean one cannot change. I feel optimistic about the future.

Updated: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:51:14 UTC | #520186

JQisAwesome's Avatar Comment 9 by JQisAwesome

Hahaha!

Richard, where do you find this stuff? Do you just go around the internet, trying to irritate yourself?

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:51:19 UTC | #520188

andreab's Avatar Comment 10 by andreab

"an elitist and an intellectual snob"? It's simple logic. Apply it elsewhere....

I have eggs for my breakfast. I do not need eggs to have breakfast. Contradiction? It's primary school stuff.

The problem is that the kind of person his words are aimed at do not question what he is saying. They don't really listen to the detail. It's all blah-blah-god-blah. That's all they hear and want to hear. Perhaps I'm an an elitist and an intellectual snob too. I doubt it though, I'm nowhere near clever enough :-S

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:04:47 UTC | #520193

Valerie_'s Avatar Comment 11 by Valerie_

I think the film is instructive, because it shows us what we are up against. There are some really really stupid, really really gullible people, out there.

The larger part of the problem is the people who manipulate the ones who are either less bright or susceptible for one reason or another. Many of the manipulators lack scruples and don't care about truth one way or another, provided their particular agendas are advanced.

I've always thought that extremist groups (especially here in the States) thrive on manipulating less-bright people and playing to their fears. Moderates try very hard to make reasonable, factual, logical arguments. They often fail to convince people because many people are simply not able to follow a complex argument. They can't help being that way, because this is how the vast majority were born.

To give an example, say you want to explain how eyes evolved. You'd need some time to get the point across, and you'd have to talk about complex things like genes (trust me; if a person has very little science knowledge, genes are tough to understand).

Alternatively, it's much quicker to invoke an apparently logical argument: "Sight is way too complex to have happened a bit at a time!! Who are these people kidding?? Do they think we're that stupid? God did it!!").

Manipulators make people feel good about themselves because they appeal to their perceived logic and intelligence. People who make reasoned stepwise arguments make the same people feel dumb or talked down to for not understanding immediately.

Very smart people don't think like other people. To an intelligent person, the most natural thing in the world is to present a case based on facts. It seems completely reasonable and correct that others will analyse the facts and make a decision based on facts alone. Unfortunately, many people respond more to an emotional pseudo-logical argument than they do to facts and subtle conclusions. See the previous paragraph for one important reason why.

Updated: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:14:25 UTC | #520196

alexi's Avatar Comment 12 by alexi

Richard,

             I have nothing but sympathy for your exasperation.  One of my best friends is a professional IT contractor & Old Earth Creationist.  A few months ago we went out for drinks to catch up, and we ended up talking about religion at some point (he wasn't trying to convert me or anything, we've known each other for years and he's a pretty decent fellow).  Anyway, in what I can only assume was an effort to convince me of the lucidity of his religious convictions, he confidently recited to me the old anecdote about the guy in the flood who prays for rescue and God sends two boats and a helicopter.  I don't know if you've heard this little chestnut, the gist of the story is that when prayers are answered they may be answered "un-miraculously."  He then went on to explain how the bible may not be intended literally, as it is better understood as prophecy of the kind you hear about in fantasy stories where prophecies get fulfilled in unexpected ways.  
             Had I been feeling more like a discussion, I might have pointed out what an excruciatingly obvious con-job all of this rationalization is.  But I just couldn't bring myself to even try and argue about it.  As I listened to him expound all of this, I felt a flame of hope in me that I'd never even been conscious of flicker and die.  I was listening to a guy who spends his evenings elbow deep in logic boards tell me that it makes sense to believe in God because sometimes when you pray for possible things they might happen, and just because the bible isn't actually true doesn't mean its not figuratively true.  I felt like crawling into a hole and dying.  I'd always known religion could brainwash, but I don't think I ever truly realized what an unbreachable wall of stupid an ideology can erect in a person's mind.  If a quaint Lutheran church in Colorado could cripple my friends mind like this, what hope could there possibly be for the rest of the world?
             I think the solution is to just accept this and get on with things.  No we are not going to convince everyone, and we are not going to do it quickly either.  People are just stupid.  Religious and unreligious alike, when an ideology gets firmly implanted, can be incredibly stubbornly stupid.  This is just a fact of life, and we have to suffer it.  That's not a reason to stop speaking our minds.  Eventually the utility of truth has a way of forcing its way to the front, and maybe one day the better part of humanity will develop to the point of being able to appreciate truth for its own sake.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:10:54 UTC | #520197

jameshogg's Avatar Comment 13 by jameshogg

It's this sort of thing that could very well count as evidence of the severity of confirmation bias. Or at least, allows a reasonable conclusion heading that way.

Maybe it's the thought of being wrong that scares a lot of people, so they figure out a 'bypass' that lets them be right all the time, and usually it's faith or circular logic. People don't like being wrong and it's understandable, because it would mean:

  • Everything they've worked on was to no avail, which would upset anybody, maybe someone involved with a big project that collapses, or a relationship ends, etc.

  • They would have to face up to some fact that would be hurtful. Denial is common in any situation where people would be devastated by the truth...

  • They may fear having to hear a 'I told you so' attack from friends and peers.

  • Or... my personal worry:

  • It makes somebody feel stupid, and makes them feel incapable of 'doing anything right.'
  • That last one concerns me because I feel it ties into our high expectations from our brains. We like to think we are right, therefore we will behave like we are right all the time, as opposed to the 'brain dead idiot' who 'gets everything wrong'.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:16:14 UTC | #520201

    alexi's Avatar Comment 14 by alexi

    I can't figure out why my comment didn't respect margins.....

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:25:19 UTC | #520208

    professor plum's Avatar Comment 15 by professor plum

    It's worrying isn't it, but let's remember that any sort of faith, be it in a creator or in fairies at the bottom of the garden, requires the intrinsic ability to effectively suspend the intellect and critical faculties. If you have the capacity to do this and believe in God, you're certainly capable of accepting weak arguments as convincing ones. It always amazes me when I encounter apparently intelligent people who are able to disconnect their brains in this way, but there it is. But, since many of them (Jehovah's witnesses; Mormons etc.) are tireless in their efforts to show us their light, I feel that we should be equally relentless in spreading the word of reason to them in spite of their frustrating idiocy. We'll save those that want to be saved.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:31:20 UTC | #520212

    Bumpy's Avatar Comment 16 by Bumpy

    I'm a third year psychology student, and I'll try to answer you question in terms of psychology.

    As you know, abstract logical reasoning is not a natural (i.e. evolved) thing, at least not to the point of it being the main determinant of people's information processing approach to life. Whereas reasoning is a purely cognitive (i.e. internal) behaviour, it is none the less heavily influenced and warped by social influences. By social influences, I have in mind theories that have been well supported and have some of the best predictive capabilities in psychology. Conformity Theory, for one, shows that authority can over-rule logic, as a function of the perceived importance, power, and proximity of the authority in question (e.g. A priest, the pope or god). The infamous Stanley Milgram experiments support these assertions. Similar well supported theories show that people use the surrounding groups' opinion to answer a question that has no immediately obvious answer (this is called Informational social influence). The same theories also predict that people will also answer in line with an already existing group answer, whilst answers vary with no pre-existing group answer to go on (this is called Normative social influence).

    As for the stupidity of these people. It is obvious that a person's intelligence and their ability to use reason and logic are correlated - reason and logic are thought of as facets of intelligence on most IQ tests. However, P = Q does not mean that Q = P. In other words, a person's intelligence may set an upper limit on their reasoning and logic skills, but a lack of reasoning and logic does not automatically imply poor intelligence. It may be that an intelligent person fails to engage in reasoning and logic because they are being socially influenced, induced even, to conform to the group they find themselves in. Since people find themselves in religious groups from birth, what chance is there of that person applying reason and logic to their religion, if not for a conflicting social influence - us.

    In conclusion, I think the question we need to answer is how to give a religious person to a window with which to apply whatever reasoning and logic skills they may possess, to their religion. I have posted my way of doing this before, and I'll repost it here:

    "Explain to them what science is. I usually think about it like a thought experiment. Forget everything you think you know - even your religion. Now, what are you left with? Well, something is going on - something exists because you're thinking (Descartes). Then it's just a case of applying the scientific method (Theory building, hypothesis testing using evidence, theory refutation or modification and repeat) thereby building a body of knowledge about this existence. Some theories we will be very confident about - as a function of evidence. If there's not a good theory for a problem (like the origin of life or the universe or of dark matter etc.) then we stay with our initial 'we know nothing or very little' attitude until a better theory, supported by evidence, is devised. If God or your religion is correct, then science will bring it out. If not, it won't.

    That is an idealised version of what our current body of knowledge, as delivered by science, is at the moment. Finally, I would point out that God or their religion has yet to be vindicated by science, so there's no point in believing it any more than anything else that hasn't - like unicorns or the flying spaghetti monster."

    The important part in that process is getting people to really imagine a state of 'no-knowledge' or supreme ignorance.

    Thanks.

    Updated: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:38:19 UTC | #520213

    Matt B's Avatar Comment 17 by Matt B

    I must admit that I am going through a difficult time right now. While such nonsense being paraded as "truth" has always bothered me, it has lately been irritating me on a whole new level. Perhaps there is something inside of me that wants to save the world, and see humanity reach the next level. As long as the (seemingly) majority of humans hold onto these fallacies with tooth and nail, this prospect is grim.

    My tolerance is wearing thin. There are so many dangers to our race, in many different forms; environmental, educational, not to mention weapons that can wipe out entire continents. At this time in our development, we cannot afford the luxury of closing our eyes to reality and ignoring that which is around us. (By "we," I am referring to humanity, not our more enlightened group here, of course).

    While my immediate family are soft theists (probably actually deists without realizing it), many members of my extended family are evolution-denying, christ-worshipping theists. My frustrations of late have led me to speak out when I ought not to, and I have inadvertently caused at least one rift between extended family members with my views.

    I am a pessimest, and as such I see our world doomed. Maybe more people will come around (more probably are every day), but it's not happening fast enough. Technology and science are racing ahead of the younger generation, as we play tug-of-war with the theists over their impressionable minds. Religion seems to have become a meme with a ferocious life of its own, wielding pupper-master like control over our fellow humans.

    Do I personally feel like it's worth explaining the scientific truth (as best we know it) to people? Probably not, but I will continue to try anyway. It's like being stuck in the middle of the desert, exhausted and parched, surrounded as far as the eye can see by blazing sand. Trying seems hopeless, but the only other choice would be to just drop down and give up. So I personally choose to push ahead, hopeless as it seems, knowing that I cannot possibly change the outcome. But that steel rod of survival (in this case, intellectual) is the only thing keeping me going in regard to my fellow humans.

    I'm sorry this turned into a rant, but the professor hit on something here that has been getting to me more and more of late. I try to educate people when I can, but many do not want to be educated. They do not want their dream world shattered with cumbersome truths. It's unusual, for me to want this so badly, despite knowing that I will not be around to see the outcome either way. It shouldn't bother me as much as it does. I cannot explain it. But it hurts, literally hurts, thinking about how far we've come and how likely it is that it will all come to naught.

    People are not stupid by default. Nearly every young child is a "genius" as their parents tell us, and they are not off the mark. When our minds are fresh, we are full of promise. But a lifetime of dulling the keen edge of intelligence and curiosity leads to generation after generation of dim wits (not everyone, of course, but still a frightening amount). Even people who manage to hone this intelligence are not safe from the strangle hold of religion.

    Professor, you and a few others have been the voice of reason against the mainstream authority of virtually every culture. And (nearly) every person here backs up the movement of reason. Sure, we often squabble and nitpick over details and semantics (we are human after all), but the levels of intelligence that pours from this website is a true light in the dark. I take my hat off to all of you, and hope you can forgive this rant.

    Thank you.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:32:56 UTC | #520216

    JackR's Avatar Comment 18 by JackR

    Sometimes it's because these people are genuinely stupid. Sometimes it's because they are operating on a strong personal need to believe no matter what. When that happens it seems the mind closes itself to anything that does not support - or seem to support - the needed belief. Such people become effectively stupid, even though they may possess the ability for intelligent thought in other areas. This sort of condition is a kind of mental illness, in my view. The mind hobbles itself willingly, and then refuses to see the hobble.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:42:25 UTC | #520221

    Caivs's Avatar Comment 19 by Caivs

    Professor, I think that the lazy mind of some people find refugee in dumb explanations about, well, everything. If some brainwashed believer doesnt bother anymore about understanding his condition in the universe, since for him all is explained in his holy book, any attempt of "elitist intellecuals" to explain the world he lives in will be just more trouble for his tired poor mind, trapped in a mediocre routine of alienated modern people. There is no easy way out of this vicious circle, however, making true knowledge reach interest minds, such as from natural freethinkers and skeptics, is the begining of a new zeitgeist against misticism and religion. I see your fans as a taskforce for the spreading of reason and science who, possibly, will make the other side start to bother about the truth.

    Thank you, and don´t give up!

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:55:03 UTC | #520230

    anniedawn31's Avatar Comment 20 by anniedawn31

    I know someone who believes they were abducted by aliens...I know people who do not believe in the holocost, and that 9/11 was a jewish conspiracy....the tooth fairy, allah, jesus, santa, the virgin mary, the easter bunny....creationism...etc etc etc

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:55:52 UTC | #520231

    RDfan's Avatar Comment 21 by RDfan

    Now I'll be accused of being an elitist and an intellectual snob. Oh well, so be it. There are limits, and this film reaches mine.

    Don't despair, Richard. You just need to take on the challenge. Perhaps a series of science and logic books for children is what's required. The religious have a monopoly on our childrens' minds. We know that kids are naturally curious, they constantly experiment in their new environment, they are natural-born scientists. Then the lecherous old men wearing frocks come and destroy all that (i.e. clergy and imams). We need to raise our game, and the battle ground is the hearts and more especially the minds of children!

    P.s. I was disappointed not to see your face on my piece of toast this morning!

    Updated: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 22:01:04 UTC | #520233

    Caivs's Avatar Comment 22 by Caivs

    Professor, I think that the lazy mind of some people find refugee in dumb explanations about, well, everything. If some brainwashed believer doesnt bother anymore about understanding his condition in the universe, since for him all is explained in his holy book, any attempt of "elitist intellecuals" to explain the world he lives in will be just more trouble for his tired poor mind, trapped in a mediocre routine of alienated modern people. There is no easy way out of this vicious circle, however, making true knowledge reach interest minds, such as from natural freethinkers and skeptics, is the begining of a new zeitgeist against misticism and religion. I see your fans as a taskforce for the spreading of reason and science who, possibly, will make the other side start to bother about the truth.

    Thank you, and don´t give up!

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:59:25 UTC | #520236

    God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 23 by God fearing Atheist

    I understand the utter frustration, but please keep plugging away. There may indeed be stupid people out there who are fooled by this, but, as you say, they do get to vote. We need 75% of the population on side. That means everyone with an IQ above about 90.

    There are also emotional reasons why people believe this guff. So maybe some explanations need to be understandable to people with an IQ of 80 to make up for the smarter people clinging desperately to their security blankets.

    To fight it the opposition propaganda machine needs to be usderstood. After getting their arse kicked about 45 years ago the conservatives have been building a huge propaganda infastructure. About 25 years ago they joined forces with the xtian right. Evolutionists and political liberals are fighting a huge, well funded, and vicious propaganda machine that have no morals or scrupels.

    Liberals (and science educators) need to do their research, and find effective ways to counter this propaganda.

    I keep mentioning this, and get no reaction, so maybe I'm wasting my time, but I have been listening to videos by Prof. George Lakoff, and John Dean on the web. They shed light on the political activity and psychology of these people. I think effective counter measures require an understanding of the opposition.

    John Dean: Conservatives Without Conscience

    George Lakoff: Moral Politics

    The segment from about 5:00 to 7:30 gives his first concrete example of conservative political manipulation.

    About 10:00-20:00 his thesis.

    About 23:30 Conservatives - "God above man"

    About 30:00-35:00 Reagan's manipulation.

    About 34:00 - The failure of 18th century rationalism. People aren't rational. Conservatives realise this. Liberals are still in the dark.

    About 38:00 - the origins of the half billion $ per year con propaganda machine

    About 48:00 - Cons "lie when weak". Spot it and counter attack! Liberals haven't caught on!

    There are many other Lakoff videos on the web. Inevitably they overlap, but each one adds a bit to the picture. I am sure any patient and intelligent person who thinks about it will see how Lakoff's analysis is applicable to the issues discussed on this website on a daily basis, though religion is not Lakoff's direct concern. I am sure his analysis can be applied to fighting creationism, as it is part of the xtian neo-con political game.

    It applicability here - conservatives lie when weak - the answer - expose them!

    Updated: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 22:28:23 UTC | #520241

    The Plc's Avatar Comment 24 by The Plc

    It's because they actuall want to believe their prejudices are true, and they'll take refuge in even the most specious of arguments to support it. We make the mistake sometimes of thinking that all people are seriously interested in the truth, no matter it's implications.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 22:16:04 UTC | #520244

    Kiwi's Avatar Comment 25 by Kiwi

    God did it...

    Comment 14 by alexi :

    I can't figure out why my comment didn't respect margins.....

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 22:18:34 UTC | #520246

    Dhamma's Avatar Comment 26 by Dhamma

    In a perfect world maybe only people who can demonstrate some intellectual coherence and powers of reasoning would be allowed to vote, or indeed breed... but I recognise that might be slightly controversial!

    There are some obvious problems with such a view, but there are times I wish it were true. The Swedish general election is taking place this Sunday, and people keep repeating "GO AND VOTE!" as if it's ones duty. They never tell me I should read up on the political parties in order to have a qualified bet, only that I should vote. So why? "Because it's good for democracy". In my world-view, a random vote will do nothing to help democracy. Quite the opposite.

    An old friend of mine, last election, did his "duty" for no other reason than others telling him he should. So he voted for the centre party, and I asked him why? Because out of the seven common parties, they were in the middle and should then reasonably stand for the best politics. All in all a completely random vote. Why should my well thought out vote be balanced out by his random?

    In an ideal democracy everyone should vote and have good reasons for their pick. In a real democracy most people are sheep and commonly argue their parents voted this and that and therefore it's a good pick.

    Perhaps I should tell people that if they do support democracy yet don't have a clue why they vote for a certain party do not vote at all or do a blank vote and let it be up to the genuinely interested.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 22:21:34 UTC | #520251

    Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 27 by Sally Luxmoore

    Yes, there really are people who are that gullible and that stupid. You have been privileged, Richard, to have spent almost your entire working life surrounded by intelligent people!

    This calls for some Bertrand Russell quotes, I think. (From: http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/russell.htm )

    "It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this." -- from "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish" in the collection, Unpopular Essays

    "Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do."

    "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible." Christian Ethics -- from Marriage and Morals (1950), quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

    "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing."

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 22:42:00 UTC | #520263

    Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 28 by Neodarwinian

    With your " faith blinders " on there is no argument on earth that that can persuade you. It gets much worse.The evidence piled up to 2.50 X 109 meters will not convince the " faith blinded " of anything that contradicts their " magic book. "

    There may be some stupid enough to write off, but they are the pawns of those that are capable of knowing better, but by some kind of double think contravene the truth in their minds

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 23:01:14 UTC | #520269

    man with stick's Avatar Comment 29 by man with stick

    The problem with Hovind apart from serving a ten-year prison sentence!! Is that in his horrible slimey way he is a good public speaker, he comes across as charismatic and confidant in what he says but he presents non-fact after non-fact after non-fact in a confusingly fast way, followed by misanalogy by misanalogy by misanalogy. The reason why i think this is relevant is that i use to work in direct customer sales and was good at it and there are lots of ways of getting someone to believe something that is blantantly not true in order to make a sale (i've left that life far behind me now and i'm sorry to anyone i mis-sold to).

    Hovind uses a lot of the con artist tricks in his presentations...ever see a dog and dog make a non-dog? When was the last time company X gave you 50% off for just joining their loyalty scheme?...etc If you replace every statement about evolution for a cut-glass wine set he sounds like a presenter on the QVC channels.

    Some of the people might be stupid but i think he's the worst kind of schister expoliting confused, vulernable people.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 23:11:04 UTC | #520271

    John Jones's Avatar Comment 30 by John Jones

    I've been here a few days now. There's not much challenging going on. It needs to, but it isn't. If this is a supporters club then it really shouldn't be called a sceptical group, or a group devoted to rationality and science. There's no self-examination here. Maybe people think that they know all the questions and their answers, and that what's left is troublesome christians.

    I can tell you that Dawkins ideas, to a philosopher, have problems regarding their "rationality", problems that haven't been expressed by the church and TV presenters.

    Fri, 17 Sep 2010 23:16:30 UTC | #520278