Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Creationism: or, how to make a quick ten grand...

April A-Z Topic:  Creationism

I'm an evolutionist.  I've not made any secret of that fact.  But I'm perfectly willing, regardless of my beliefs, to admit that it's a bloody hard topic to debate.  The evidence is so obvious that it practically jumps up and smacks you in the face, but as much as I wish that was all that was required to make a theory a fact, I know it's not.

And that's kind of what this guy is banking on.

For those of you who can't be bothered clicking on the article, a Californian creationist has ponied up ten grand for the person who can beat him in a debate about whether evolution is a scientific fact.  You have to prove, in a minitrial, that the literal interpretation of the creation story isn't true and that evolution is.

So there you go!  All you velvet tongued evolutionists out there, here's your chance to pocket a cool ten thou if you can just convince him that evolution is a scientific fact.  Of course, you have to be willing to put up an equal amount, and if you can't make your case then he walks away with the pot.

It'd be a tough one, no doubt.  Sure, science can show examples of natural evolution through archaeological records, but if you insist, like most creationists do, on seeing it recreated in a lab to consider it scientific fact, well of course it's going to be impossible.  Evolution occurs over such a long time, no one is ever going to be able to recreate it in a lab to the satisfaction of a sceptic.

I get the funny feeling this guy's going to make a fortune by the time people stop challenging him.

The whole thing reminds me of when I was little and my dad used to do the same thing to me whenever I told him I believed in ghosts.  He'd say that the responsibility was on me to prove to him that they were real, not on him to prove to me that they weren't.  And he was right, too.

... but it was still so annoying!

72 comments:

  1. I saw this on Weekend Sunrise and Andrew was nothing but a dickwank.

    Whether we came from apes or Adam and Eve what does it really matter now, in 2013? There's nothing that can be changed or done about it so live in the bloody moment peoples!

    What really DOES matter is I need $10,000. Ten grand would buy me a lot of things and pay for a lot of bills. I NEED ten grand, THAT'S what really matters,lol.

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    1. The only problem is you have to put up ten grand yourself.

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  2. I heard about this!! I thought I could make a quick 10k, but there's no way you can convince someone of something they don't want to believe. Like, no one will ever convince me that the Kardashian family isn't riddled with stds. It's just a fact.

    Hugs!

    Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

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    1. Well of course that's a fact, there's no way that family ISN'T full of STD's.

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  3. I'm of the opinion that facts can't be used to prove faith. I also believe faith and science coexist just fine although both camps feel the need to "disprove" the other. Go figure. It takes a measure of faith to believe in both, faith in God or faith in scientists.

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    1. I feel the same way as Jeff, and couldn't say it any better myself. Sometimes it is hard to prove every aspect of everything that you may believe in a tangible way :)

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    2. That's the problem, isn't it. You can't really pit faith against science, it's apples and oranges.

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  4. Which brings us to the question, "So what?" As LADY JEWELS said, "Whether we came from apes or Adam and Eve what does it really matter now, in 2013? There's nothing that can be changed or done about it so live in the bloody moment peoples!"

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    1. That's true. Still, if he wants to put up ten grand then I'm sure someone will take him up on the offer.

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  5. I believe in Creationism through evolution. Why do people expect GOd to wave a wand and poof. There is plenty of time to create, and I don't think we're finished yet.

    As to ghosts, why not?

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    1. Ah, the Intelligent Design theory. It's as good a theory as any :)

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  6. It was aliens.

    And anyways, we already went through this, to a certain extent, back in the 20s with the Scopes Trial.

    I think Giorgio Tsoukalos should debate him :) It would be a lot more fun!

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  7. Gack! Those creationists are crazy! Crazy i tell you! And you can't talk sense to a person who comes from another planet. I think Christopher Hitchens could debate this quack and win. Alas...

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    1. It would be interesting to sit in on the arguments though.

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  8. I feel like I need to choose a different topic and do this just to make all that money. Hmmmm, what topic do I want to debate? Someone will have to prove to me that bigfoot doesn't exist! I know creationists who insist there was never any such thing as dinosaurs, because they aren't in the bible. You cannot convince someone like that to accept scientific proof of anything. For the record, I know creationists who accept evolution, too, and combine the two. There are all kinds of different ways to look at it.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. LOL! Sounds like a good plan. You just need to get the dosh together!

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  9. I didn't watch the clip but who decides the winner? Surely you can debate this until the cows come home. Is that the point?

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  10. Well, that's one way to handle children's fears :) It would be very interesting to see the debates that would result from this offer, though I imagine they'd quickly become as ugly as watching an episode of Judge Judy.

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    1. I'm sure it would. Whenever people debate things like this it tends to descend to insults pretty quickly.

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  11. Love this, Kellie! Dads do things like that to us don't they? I miss mine challenging me all the time. I really enjoyed this.

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  12. you're funny =)
    i believe evolution exists, but i just dont think thats how we started. the only way to get something from nothing is a higher being. we are too perfectly crafted to be an accident, but thats why God gives us the opportunity to choose.

    happy c day!

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    1. Ah, you're an Intelligent Design believer! There are more and more of them these days.

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  13. I would think that is a debate that wouldn't ever have a clear winner. Jeff Hargett is right that you can't prove something based on faith. The evolutionists at least have as you pointed out, have archaeological records. Valerie makes another good point, you would never convince people of something that they don't want to believe in. This whole trial idea, surely is a way to get people talking about evolution vs. creationism.

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    1. It's really comparing apples and oranges. They'll never reach a conclusion, so the guy who put up the challenge will win every time.

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  14. Is he the sole judge? If so it's simply a Sisyphean task with no real winner (well, except him getting ten grand for tricking people into bothering to "debate" someone with no interest in hearing differing opinions). It would be a better task to try and convince him and others that there's a MASSIVE difference between Theory and Hypothesis and it takes a lot of really hard work and research to graduate a hypothesis into the realm of theory.

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  15. It all depends on who's the judge. If it's him, then forget it, you will never convince a creationist otherwise. But if is other people, it's possible? But I wouldn't try it myself...I am terrible about remembering key facts in a debate.

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    1. I'd never dare. I'm an awful arguer. I'd probably end up saying something like "I don't make sense? Your face doesn't make sense! Screw you!"

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  16. I want to know if anyone has actually agreed to this debate, and, if they have, whether the debate has actually occurred. I smell a publicity stunt...

    This dude is the Amanda Bynes of science. Except for he didn't star in Easy A. So, really, he's worse than Amanda Bynes.

    And I bet people thought that was impossible.

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    1. I'm not sure if anyone's taken him up on it yet, but it's really only a matter of time.

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  17. Interesting read. I'm not very good with this kind of thing. But I can see why some people are fascinated if not obsessed with evolution and where we come from. I don't really care. LOL I figure I came from my mother and father- where it all started doesn't effect me at this time, nor does it hold a high ability to do so in my future. And if it's not here, now, or coming to the here and now- then I'm not going to bother much with it.
    Great post.
    ~Summer

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    1. "I figure I came from my mother and father-..." Cruising along reading comments, and this one made me smile. :-)

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    2. LOL! I'm just more interested than the average bear because I studied this stuff in Uni.

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  18. The mental blocks in some people's mind, can be a difficult thing to overcome. People will believe what they believe and as long as that belief doesn't harm anyone, then so be it.Both sides are strong in their conviction of how the world begun. It's all a matter of faith. I'm an evolutionist but will never deride someone who believes the world was made in several days.
    Thought provoking post. :)

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    1. That's true. As long as it's not hurting anyone why shouldn't they believe it.

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  19. I went to a very, very conservative, evangelical Christian high school because it was the best school near my house. But my family was always baffled by the attempts of some people to completely disregard science and say that it is a "lie." Obviously, they thought, the fossil record is a lie. The earth is just over 6,000 years old.

    I've never understood it!

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    1. I do love the arguement that Dinosaurs aren't real. If they aren't, it's a bloody big coincidence that those bones were all found the way they were.

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  20. I LOVE what your Dad said! Totally stealing it x

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  21. Hi, nice article. What upsets me about the whole topic is how the practice of science is undermined by people trying to teach children that creationism is on an equal par. One is built on a cycle of hypothesis - test - feedback. The other is made up. I think everyone has a right to their beliefs but there is a loss of education going on when creationists dismiss the value of the scientific approach.
    Anyway, smart guy cause no one can actually prove evolution in the strict sense. I think I will just have to look away!

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    1. That's true, you can't really put them in the same arena, they're completely different issues.

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  22. At what point would this guy actually admit you convinced him, even if you did? Because if it would cost me 10,000 to be honest, I'd lie.

    But seriously. What a goon. Which is the nicest word I could come up with to describe such a man without wasting too much time on the idea. Because just like his stupid wager, it's not worth it.

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  23. Your dad had an incredible way of looking at things. :-)

    Empirical evidence is a little scarce on both sides of this debate. In that respect, I guess they could both be viewed as a "faith". Believing without seeing. :-)

    Just for the record, I don't believe in a god or in holy books. But I respect everyone's right to.

    Thanks for sharing-- it's always interesting to see such. :-)

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  24. This is a touchy subject and one that I believe has been oversimplified into a two sided argument. I believe in the creation but the truth is that evolution happens. Animals, and humans, adapt to their surroundings. Just think. Could your great-great-grandmother work an iPhone? or program a computer? Yes, that is an oversimplification too. But the fact of evolution doesn't preclude the creation. Honestly, I don't think either side can prove or disprove anything one way or the other. That's where faith comes in.

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    1. It's definitely a bit of a powder keg. I guess that's what you get when you mix science and faith.

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  25. It would be equally hard to disprove the other theory if he were of a mind to think that way. Playing this game is a fool's errand. Even if I had 10K, no matter how you slice it this is a losing hand.

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    1. True. I'd never bet on this one. You just can't win.

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  26. He sounds like one of those people who poses the question, while already having 'his' answer in mind. Talk all you want, try your best to reason and explain things in as simple a way that a small child could understand it- heck you could even provide proof to back up everything you say- he still wouldn't buy it or admit you are right. He has his answer already in his thick mind and nothing is going to change it.

    He is best to be ignored. The quickest way to end a game is simply not to play.

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    1. That's true, no doubt. It's an impossible task to convince someone of something they're determined not to believe in.

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  27. I love your fathers take on it, when he said 'that the responsibility was on me to prove to him that they were real, not on him to prove to me that they weren't.'

    I shall remember that :)

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    1. He was right of course, it's not his responsibility to disprove, it's mine to prove. But it was always so incredibly frustrating!

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  28. My strategy would be to set up a lab with some insects or something in it and tell him he needs to wait here for 1 million years and he'll see evolution work with his own eyes. If he bails then I win!!!!

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  29. I really reaallllly was going to muster the energy to click the link, but then saw you were saving me the trouble! At least your father didn't make money off of you!

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    1. I know what it's like to go to a post and then be referred to another article, so I like to give you guys the cliff notes version ;D

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  30. You know, we have witnessed animals evolving within several generations. Sure it would take a few years but you can force bacteria and even some insects to undergo some very drastic changes in the right conditions.

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  31. I'm loving your A to Z posts -you've made me LOL! Look forward to D-Z now.

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  32. I feel like my sister might be able to walk about with the money :) She's pretty good with words, and I'm pretty good at debunking the bible these days (it's the memoir, I had to do a lot of bible research for it).

    Thanks for the nice comment on my blog!

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    1. Maybe you and your sister should get the cash together and give it a go :D

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  33. I come down in the creationism camp; I believe completely in God as our Creator. Strangely enough, initially because, after studying both religion and science, to me it's the only logical explanation for life on this planet. I know enough about science to know that many theories we accept generally as fact are, in fact, still just unproven theories. Some of those are not proven because we haven't worked them out yet, and some because they are not true. I think a lot of people don't understand that.

    I have a lot of respect for science. I love science. I love truth most of all. I don't think something has to be reproduced in a lab before it's believable. I do think that since all truth must logically be capable of being embraced within a single philosophy, it will be exciting to see how it all fits together one day :)

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    1. I don't expect any of us will ever get to know the full truth of the origins of the universe, at least not before we die :D

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  34. Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

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    1. It scares me when they do that. It's one thing to believe in creationism, but it's another to try and replace science with it. I'm a Pagan, but I'd never dream of expecting them to replace science lessons with ones on magic.

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  35. I'm a creationist, but I'm not anti science.
    but the challenge is a nonsense, cos people will take him up on it and he will make money and the integrity of his argument will be futher undermined.

    anyway, we can still be friends can't we :) :) :) :)

    auntyamo
    http://ficticiousamo.wordpress.com/

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  36. It's a sucker bet, trying to get people to prove a negative. Besides, you can't argue with crazy.

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