Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Script for "Debating" ID/Creationists

Debating an ID/Creationist (I use that term lightly; it's hard to debate someone with no facts) is like listening to Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might be a Redneck" jokes. At first it's interesting, but gets old when you hear the same tired old thing all the time. The same goes for ID/Creationists. Some of them are just honest uneducated people. Others are lying propogandists. Here's a script I've used in probably every "debate" with an IDiot/Cretinist. Keep in mind, they usually come out with all of these at once. Stick to your guns and hit them one at a time.

Part I or "They ALWAYS start with this one"

1. Evolution never happened. Why do you think they call it a theory?

Big mistake. It happened, it's still happening.

*First point out the to the ID/Creationist they are apparently ignorant of what evolution is. In layman's terms, evolution is the
change in the gene pool of a population over time. This is readily observable. I typically provide antibiotic resistant bacteria and DDT resistant insects as obvious choices. Direct them to the talk origins FAQ on observed instances of speciation for proof. This is a good time to point out the difference between what "theory" means to scientists and what it means in everyday conversation.

The comeback:

Oh, you mean "micro-evolution" (changes within species). I mean "macro-evolution" (at or above the level of species). A frog that changes into another frog is still a frog.

The end of argument 1:

*Don't let the ID/Creationist get away with being dishonest! Do not address anymore of their points until they answer this question: "Why did you say evolution never happened before, but now you say it did?" Continue to quote their point until they give an honest answer, basically making them admit they believe evolution has occured. In my experience, they will usually tuck tail and run, or say something like "sorry for not being clear." It is now apparent that the only thing being argued is "macro-evolution". Soooooo...

Throw 'em for a loop! We've both agreed micro-evolution is a fact. Now why is there a "controversy" here? Oh, maaaaaacro-evolution. Which brings me to my next ID/Creationist argument:

Part II or "The Most Ignorant Argument ID/Creationists Use"

Trust me, if you use this, do so only with people who are utterly ignorant of science lest you sound like a complete and total moron.

2. When I see a frog give birth to a cat, then I'll believe in macro-evolution!

Well, when I see a frog give birth to a cat, I'll renounce atheism and lead my life for Christ; that would be excellent evidence for Creationism, not evolution.

*BWAHAHAHAHA! Silly ID/Creationist! Not only are you serving to debunk your own claims, you are playing my game now! If generational changes occured that quickly, it would refute evolutionary theory! Evolution happens over millions of years, not overnight.

The comeback:

Fine, but animals stay in their own kind; frogs are still frogs, dogs are still dogs!

The end of argument 2:

*Does "kind" mean different species? If so, they're wrong; you've already agreed speciation occurs. Typically, though, ID/Creationists move the meaning of the word up to
higher taxonomic levels, be it genus or even family. By this way of thinking, they might lump these together:

http://www.sitstayfetch.net/dogbreeds/images/chihuahua.jpg http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/biology/usfw-list/images/wolf.jpg
Hey, same genus, right?

Some ID/Creationists say "kind" can't be defined biologically. OK fine. How does one define it? If "kind" has no definition, why use the term?

Part III or "I'll Huff, and I'll Puff and I'll Blow that Strawman Down!"

3. If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? I believe God/gods/Gorlock the Mighty gave me a soul, so there's no way we could be related to monkeys.

This point may be the easiest to refute.

*We didn't evolve from monkeys. We evolved from a common ancestor. Evolution works like this:


Not this:

Creationist's View of Evolution
Note the common ancestor.

Here's where it gets real interesting. Show them Eohippus and Miohippus only. Are they the same "kind"? I'll wager $50 bucks they say yes. Then show them Miohippus and Merychippus. Are they the same "kind"? Repeat ad finitum until you get to the modern horse. Notice how the tree
branches off to other species. So note how eohippus was not only the common ancestor to modern horses, but also species such as Paleotherium.

Human evolution was much the same, with a common ancestor extending through many branches.

The comeback:

You have to give it to them they stick to their guns. They'll always revert to the "kind" argument.

The end of argument 3:

Ok so this:


and this:


Are the same "kind"? Looks like pretty good evidence for "macro-evolution" to me.

Stay tuned for part II...some jackass just
spammed a critical thinking blog with an ad for pseudo-science. What better way to pay him back than to debunk the hell outta his product?

*update 10/12/05*
I know I used some of the older names for a few of the extinct species (ie Eohippus). They're extinct, I don't think they'll care...


Anonymous said...

I don't know, if I see a Taco Bell commercial featuring a wolf who says Taco-Taco that might be an argument for ID. Maybe something from the church of the sub-Genus. ;) The whole world is going to the Dobbs anyway

Rockstar Ryan said...

Sweet! Good call!

drogidy said...

Wait. It suddenly occured to me that ID is one of those buzz-words invented by Freud to represent human conciousness, along with Ego and Super-Ego.

Now isn't that ironic, since it takes quite a super-ego to come up with something like and ID and call it a science..

beajerry said...


Ronald Brak said...

This post is very good, but for a moment I was afraid that creationists might read it and come up with counter arguements for your counter arguements. So I tried very hard to think of something sensible a creationist could say to counter what you've written. Zip, nada, zilch, nothing came to me. I think we're safe.

Rockstar Ryan said...

Thanks RB. I'm very serious, this is how every 'debate' I've had w/ an IDiot or Cretinist has gone. The argument is airtight, I hope, and you've just help confirm that.

BronzeDog said...

drogidy: "Wait. It suddenly occured to me that ID is one of those buzz-words invented by Freud to represent human conciousness..."

IIRC, the id represented the beastial, childish drive for immediate gratification and survival, devoid of morality or rationality.

...So, yeah, it's pretty appropriate comparison.