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Should creationists be given a platform?

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.

Should creationists be given a platform in academic institutions?

Yes
5
20%
No
20
80%
 
Total votes: 25

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Author
Zoe
Posts: 564
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 4:08 pm

Should creationists be given a platform?

#1 Post by Zoe » March 16th, 2008, 10:41 am

Do people here agree with the argument (made by Dawkins?) that to allow creationists to participate in serious debate (at universities etc) is to imply that their position may be worthy of serious consideration, or that it exists on the same intellectual level as evolution, therefore they should be denied a platform?

It seems a bit illiberal to me.

Maria Mac
Site Admin
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:34 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#2 Post by Maria Mac » March 16th, 2008, 11:23 am

How about crystal gazers and tarot card readers? Would it be illiberal not to allow them a platform?

If a serious academic institution set up a debate between a scientist and a creationist (or a flat earther or an astrologer or whatever) it might give these subjects a status they don't deserve in the eyes of the ignoramuses who wouldn't be interested in, or capable of following, the substance of the debate anyway as well as perhaps damaging the reputation of the institution itself.

Let the debates with creationists continue informally on-line or in high schools and community centres but universities shouldn't touch them with a barge pole, IMO.

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gcb01
Posts: 564
Joined: July 8th, 2007, 1:50 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#3 Post by gcb01 » March 16th, 2008, 4:19 pm

There are two problems with giving them a platform:
1. they tend to get half the time despite the weight of evidence suggesting they should get less than 1% - this gives the illusion of credibility
2. if it was two people arguing about say economic theory or football then no-one would worry if they started being rude to each other but if religion is involved then you are not meant to be rude to a religious person and this tends to give an air of invincibility to their views.

If the debate could start off: "Right Mr Creationist, what's your evidence - no real scientific evidence - no a book that you say god wrote because the book says so doesn't count - no evidence - right, f*@k off and stop wasting our time." then that would be ok.
Regards

Campbell

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#4 Post by Alan H » March 16th, 2008, 7:10 pm

Creationists would get short shrift by the appropriate academics in a UK university. However, if the platform included students or staff whose area of expertise was not geology, biology, etc, then creationists arguments can/could seem persuasive. The problem is not whether their arguments are valid (they're not), but in the way they present them. If (and it's a mighty big if) a debate could be arranged where they had to scientifically justify and validate each and every statement they made as they uttered them, then perhaps. However, I doubt there could be enough controls on them to prevent their snide contorting of facts. Also, the media would have to be excluded, given their propensity to find facts where none exist.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

MHB
Posts: 32
Joined: February 22nd, 2008, 1:31 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#5 Post by MHB » March 17th, 2008, 12:39 am

Alan H wrote:However, if the platform included
The platform should be three feet by three feet and approximately 200 feet above the ground, beneath which is the type of barrel you can bob for apples. They can explain their position on the way down. :D

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Alan H
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Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#6 Post by Alan H » March 17th, 2008, 7:41 am

:hilarity:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Thomas
Posts: 459
Joined: July 21st, 2007, 3:54 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#7 Post by Thomas » March 17th, 2008, 10:40 am

As I've said elsewhere, I think formal, public debates generally achieve nothing and are therefore a waste of time. I can't imagine a bigger waste of time than packing a hall with supporters and opponents of ID neither of whom have come expecting or hoping to learn anything from the other side.

tubataxidriver
Posts: 375
Joined: August 3rd, 2007, 10:39 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#8 Post by tubataxidriver » March 17th, 2008, 5:27 pm

I voted yes, on the basis that creationists need to be rubbished and they need to realise that their madcap ideas are indeed madcap. This cannot be done by ignoring or excluding them - they will just continue with their misinformed campaigns. However, giving them a suitable "platform" in the form of an academic debate would be a mistake. What should be done is for universities to weight up the weight of peer-reviewed evidence that creationists can muster, and this means that creationists have first to convince other scientists of the merits of their arguments in a scientific forum. Only then, when they have established scientific credibility, could they be invited to debate. I don't think they have a hope of generating any scientific arguments, so I think we should be on reasonably safe ground.

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jaywhat
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Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#9 Post by jaywhat » March 17th, 2008, 5:42 pm

No

They have enough bloody platforms. Academic institutions are not for mumbo jumbo.

FloatingBoater
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Joined: September 16th, 2007, 11:50 am

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#10 Post by FloatingBoater » March 17th, 2008, 9:23 pm

I must admit that I agree with TubaTaxi and that I was surprised to see that after casting my vote, I appeared to represent an impressive 25% of the votes cast in that catagory :laughter: But to be serious, if one believes in freedom of speech then how can anyone deny even the likes of David (the holocaust denier) Irving the right to be challenged and defeated by honest, intelligent rebuttal?
Bring 'em on I say - there's no such thing as bad publicity - except for fools. :finger:
Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.

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grammar king
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:42 am

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#11 Post by grammar king » March 18th, 2008, 1:22 am

Some people appear to be a little confused by the concept of free speech.

We're all agreed that I should be allowed to say pretty much whatever I want. But I presume most of you wouldn't agree that should I decide to come into your living room and spout a load of creationist crap, you would be obliged to let me continue, for fear of breaching my right to free speech. Just because people have the right to say such things, doesn't mean we should feel obliged to grant them a platform.

Lord Muck oGentry
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Joined: September 1st, 2007, 3:48 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#12 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » March 18th, 2008, 1:36 am

Let them shout at the traffic.
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

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wizzy
Posts: 149
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 7:54 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#13 Post by wizzy » March 19th, 2008, 7:13 pm

I agree with grammar king, freedom of speech does not mean people should be give a platform to spout nonsense, just that they should be allowed to spout it if they can find an audience .

I did once have a nutter on the tube train spouting all kinds of nonsense about God and the world being 6,000 years old and him believing everything written in the Bible. All in a very loud voice whilst sitting next to me. I did ask him to be quiet (even though I knew it would be futile, I didn't see why I should put up with it or be intimidated), but unfortunately that only resulted in him shouting at me for a bit before continuing with his rant.

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Ninny
Posts: 545
Joined: December 13th, 2007, 12:03 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#14 Post by Ninny » March 20th, 2008, 9:35 am

Although I voted no (in the absence of a stronger option, like absolutely-bloody-not), I think creationists less harmful in the long run than astrologers and healers and all the rest of the tolerated mumbo-jumboists, who are now so much part of the fabric of people's lives that they are almost never questioned.

allybalder
Posts: 82
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:21 am

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#15 Post by allybalder » March 20th, 2008, 7:55 pm

this is a quote from a contributor to the blog of a BBC N. Ireland presenter of a major new series detailing the natural history of Ireland - starting Mon 31st March
see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2008/03/a ... postc.html

The object in question is a representation of the BBC mind set “dried up material” “lifeless matter” dead with no spirit or should I say the mind set of all those who were Born Before Creation, their party line never changes from Alan Titchmarsh to David Attenborough to William Crawley they all have evolved through the BBC’s staff induction or some would say they have been brain washed by Auntie, they all have to toe the party line for Auntie knows best when it comes to pay day. When was the last time that the BBC did a programme from the Creation perspective? Creationist pay for their TV licensees just like Evolutionists but they are ignored when it comes to putting out a balanced impartial viewpoint, Creation v Evolution.

P.S. William

I would like to see the BBC producing a DVD of the 30-minute film about C.H. Spurgeon that was first broadcast on BBC-TV in May 1975, if that is not possible how about a re-run. Now that might balance the scales a bit.
check out the Humani forum from our website http://www.nireland.humanists.net

fullerwiser
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Joined: November 29th, 2007, 3:47 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#16 Post by fullerwiser » March 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm

In many U.S. states, including mine, creationists already do have a platform, and it's growing, as pointed out by this recent Dallas Observer article.

I know that threatening to move to Canada is something that white people like to do, but for the love of Satan, if my kid brings home a science textbook that sounds like a Sunday school lesson, I can either move or suffer massive daily aneurysms until he graduates.

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Alan C.
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Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#17 Post by Alan C. » March 20th, 2008, 10:09 pm

Note: Canadian white people threaten to move to Europe.

Note: Europeans are unable to threaten to move anywhere.
:pointlaugh: Love it!
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Maria Mac
Site Admin
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:34 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#18 Post by Maria Mac » March 21st, 2008, 12:10 pm

Ninny wrote:Although I voted no (in the absence of a stronger option, like absolutely-bloody-not), I think creationists less harmful in the long run than astrologers and healers and all the rest of the tolerated mumbo-jumboists, who are now so much part of the fabric of people's lives that they are almost never questioned.
That's an interesting point. On an individual day-to-day level, people are more vulnerable to that kind of nonsense. They waste time and money on it sometimes to catastrophic effect.

OTOH, creationism gets dangerous when it has serious money and power behind it and it seem that this is becoming increasingly true in the UK with the Vardy academies and the plans for the creationist theme park.


I don't get that 'stuff white people like' blog at all. What am I missing?

fullerwiser
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Joined: November 29th, 2007, 3:47 pm

Re: Should creationists be given a platform?

#19 Post by fullerwiser » March 21st, 2008, 2:42 pm

Maria wrote:
I don't get that 'stuff white people like' blog at all. What am I missing?
Well, that site addresses a very specific subset of white people, i.e. left-leaning American whites. The site's author is Canadian but lives in California now, and claims that liberal Americans are basically Canadians anyway.

Not sure how many of the white people traits he describes are applicable outside of the U.S., but they're certainly familiar to me.


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