Are live debates worthwhile?

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Discussion by: TyroneAByrne
Hi, my name is Tyrone Byrne. I am making this to try and spur discussion of what I believe is a big issue in the way in which the arguments for atheism are presented to a wider audience – live debates.

Live debates take place at many conferences globally between people of many different world views (though it must be said, I have never seen a debate in which two people of differing religions attempt to disprove each others respective deities). The real question, however, is are they effective? True, it is satisfying to see a theist falling over their own words to attempt to reason with certain arguments, but in general I believe that live debates are not the most effective test of good arguments.

For one live debates are open to underhanded techniques. The chances are many of you have watched Christopher Hitchens’ debate with William Lane Craig; the chances are that many of you also realised that Lane Craig doesn’t really have any profoundly new arguments for theism, but that his excessive strawman and ‘Gish Gallop’ debating techniques left some theists believing that he was actually onto something. The lack of integrity of some debating styles leads to a warping of the audiences view of the arguments presented, and this reduces the objectivity with which they can assess the logic behind each opponents position.

Secondly, live debates are open to information failure. Debates often involve the quoting of books and people, as well as statistics. In debates about God, this can often mean theists quoting dubious studies and also quoting people out of context to show that their argument is some how supported by something of note. The fact that the opponent does not get an opportunity to (1) look up and assess the reliability of the study, (2) validate the quotes which their opponent is using with context or (3) Provide (unless previously researched) a counter argument to propositions such as “Hitler was an atheist.” limit the effectiveness of live debates where use of quotes is rife. The abuse of information and studies, I believe, limit the effectiveness of live debates.

Thirdly (and finally) I believe that live debates do not allow the arguments to be explored fully. Often I watch debates between atheists and theists and wonder why clear logical fallacies are not pointed out, why well known anti-theist arguments are not mentioned. The reason why is, of course, the time sensitive element of the debate; often arguments are glossed over and not fully explained (which makes them less persuasive), and this leads to problems of presentation: people can walk away from debates thinking that the debater simply had no response to a given proposition, when actually they just did not have time to touch on it.

These three reasons highlight my reasons for not believing that a live debate is a worthwhile measure of the validity of a persons arguments. While live debates are entertaining, it is common for people to put too much emphasis on them as being a way of deciding once and for all whether, for example, God exists. I would be interested to hear others views on this. Thank you for reading. Tyrone Alistair Byrne, 17, UK.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Tyrone, I guess this would depend upon the goal and purpose for the debate.  Don’t overlook the potential influence a debate could have upon the audience. Many people deconvert from their beliefs slowly,  One good point could swing an individual’s belief system even if the overall debate was a calamity. Back when I was still sitting on the fence, I frequently listened to debates online. After viewing several, I realized that most theists had no reliable forms of information to back their views. After a while, many viewpoints started to seem cartoonish; I could point out the logical fallacy. I could also see flaws in the atheists’ position debating a non-Christian or New Age type. At times, debates are also teaching tools for people to improve their position or reasoning.

  2. I much prefer the ‘Discussion Format’ – like ‘A Universe From Nothing’ – where subjects are talked about calmly and in depth – without a ‘topic-chopping’ Moderator or a highly adversarial climate.
    I would rather be educated on new or difficult ideas, than entertained like it was a football game to passionately cheer at, or get frustrated, sad & angry at the antics pulled by all the parties involved.

  3. I believe the debates are mostly pointless simply because they are hijacked from the start.  I recently attended a debate at the University of Michigan between Frank Turek and Eddie Tabash.  The topic was, “Which better represents reality, theism or atheism?”  Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion was out of bounds.  You could not discuss where the theism came from, even though we all know Turek is a christian apologist.  So in essence, what was the argument for or about?  You could not talk about religion while debating theism.  In addition, any argument made by Tabash was countered with “You are stealing from god to argue against him,” and the super-christians in the crowd would go crazy with applause.  Following the event I checked the twitter feed that was going on during the debate only to find comments like this; “Tabash really came here with notes and proofs for his arguments, he is here to try to win the debate!  Unfortunately, that is not what most of us came here to see.”  There may be a few people who can see through the BS and learn from these debates, but most of them are hijacked from the start and since logic and reason are not part of the christian mind, they are not really present in the debate.  

  4. A nice observation Tyrone. I too notice many of these things. There is one individual by the name  Hamza Tzortzis who debates quite alot but in my opinion is the epitome of how a debate should not be done, however, many go away from it thinking this individual made a point just through linguistic acrobatics, arrogance, denial and showmanship. Surely evidence is what attendees at a debate are there to make a decision from? Psychology (which I study) tells us that facts well presented often aren’t as persuasive as the rhetoric and non-verbal ques given from a less informed but more enthusiastic person. It’s good to see you’re taking an interest at age 17 I wish there were more like-minded 17 year olds out there. I think live debates can be effective but you have to be extremely good at it (evidence, charisma, credibility etc) and it also depends on the intellectual and emotional level of intelligence in the audience which directly affects whether or not they are even ready to take on new ideas or not.

  5.  Good points Glen. It makes you wonder about the competence of some people being good choices for being on a jury. Interestingly, many of the traits you have listed are also qualities of a good professional con-man – just add in niceness.

  6.  Such debates are an opportunity for new articulations. It also brings about the demise of fallacious arguments by exposing them, even if they win the day.

    Even if my side of an argument loses a debate, it does not necessarily change my position but it expands my understanding of both sides. For instance, if a theist sees that Hitchens own a theist they might not take his side but they might learn to agree with moral-nihilism and that atheists have a moral compass. They might also realize they do not use their religion for moral decisions.

  7. I have watched many live debates by Richard and other atheists. Although I have basically enjoyed them there are some aspects I found unsatisfying.

    1. Arguments about the origin of the Universe. I say try to steer discussion away from this topic because the science is unsettled. Theists can jump on any unlikely-sounding hypothesis to suggest that an intelligence behind the universe is a simpler solution.

    2. Deist/Theist arguments. Religious apologists effortlessly jump from an argument that “a” god exists to justify that “their” god exists. Atheists need to stamp on this but in live debates they often let it pass because they are preparing their next point. Theist positions are easier to refute, for example asking why does a loving god allow suffering exposes how theists have to tie logic into a pretzel to give an answer.

    3. Assertions with no evidence. For example in reply to a point about why there are so many different religions and denominations Dinesh D’Souza said that praying to God was like a pyramid with God at the top. Everyone starts at the base with different ideas but the more they pray, the closer they get to knowing the nature of God. Because the discussion rapidly moved to a different topic he was not challenged to provide any evidence for this (someone could have asked if he has abandoned some of his Christian beliefs and adopted some Muslim beliefs as a result of prayer).

  8. The concept of a debate is a great idea, but in practice they can be very tiresome. Regardless of the position of either of the debaters, typically they take the same pieces of evidence and arrive at different conclusions. Take for example geology. A creationist will use the present geological information as evidence for a global flood. A scientist will use the same evidence for massive spans of time passing. What have the debaters and the audience arrived at? Two equally valid presentations, (and they are valid bearing in mind the debaters use of abductive inference), that explain the given evidence in two radically different ways is produced.

    Conversations, question and answer dialogue, audience lead discussions, and more can lead to a greater depth of understanding on the part of the audience. But is arriving at an understanding exactly what debates are about? I am not sure. 

  9. Hi Tyrone-In my opinion it depends on a number of things, including the caliber of those participating in the debate and the intended audience. Too often live debates become gotcha! competitions where the need to be cleverest outpaces genuine intellectual (salt sprinkled on that one depending on the debater’s position) exchange. And a live debate performance is, at heart, a performance. Someone as devastating at the spoken word as Christopher Hitchens was could make an incredible-sounding argument for Christianity in a debate, and unless one stepped back to consider the facts and evidence one could get swept up in the fervor and investigate no further. So debates have their place, but conversations and publications carry more substance.

  10. – astrum  – Regardless of the position of either of the debaters, typically they take the same pieces of evidence and arrive at different conclusions.

    A lot depends on the education and reasoning skills of the audience, and debaters pitching subject matter at the right levels for audience understanding.

    Take for example geology. A creationist will use the present geological information as evidence for a global flood.

    Flood-myth protagonists would not recognise evidence if it fell on them!  Let alone be able to present any!  Their attempts at “evidence” are invariably disjointed, inconclusive bits of information accompanied by the SUGGESTION that their conclusions are supported by this.  I have yet to see ANY Flood-myth YEC with any geological or astronomical competence!

    A scientist will use the same evidence for massive spans of time passing.

    … and then back up the claims of science, with multiple conformations from other areas of science!

    What have the debaters and the audience arrived at? Two equally valid presentations,

    Nope!  There is not a hope in Hell of YECs making a valid presentation supporting the global flood myth as “the best explanation” of geological evidence!

    (and they are valid bearing in mind the debaters use of abductive inference), that explain the given evidence in two radically different ways is produced.

    Nope! Not a chance – where solid scientific evidence is involved, and deductive reasoning can be effectively used! 

    -  Abductive reasoning – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A… –
    Abduction[1] is a form of logical inference that goes from data description of something to a hypothesis that accounts for the reliable data and seeks to explain relevant evidence.

    In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. Abductive reasoning can be understood as “inference to the best explanation”.

    Vague suggestions, inferences, or assertions, simply cannot stand up to massed, verified, scientific evidence. 
    That does not mean that audiences of bigoted “cheerleaders for ignorance”, cannot be assembled!

  11. jmomeara
    I believe the debates are mostly pointless simply because they are hijacked from the start. 

    If the terms of reference prohibit key elements and so bias the debate, then walk away.
    If there is nothing relevant to say, avoid the charade, and don’t give charlatans credibility by sharing a platform!

    I recently attended a debate at the University of Michigan between Frank Turek and Eddie Tabash.  The topic was,
    “Which better represents reality, theism or atheism?” 

    As neither represent reality, the debate is a no substance topic! 
    Science represents reality – theism represents delusion.  Atheism is delusion avoidance!   – (A short note to this effect should be all that is required!)

    Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion was out of bounds. You could not discuss where the theism came from, even though we all know Turek is a christian apologist.  So in essence, what was the argument for or about?
     You could not talk about religion while debating theism.  

    The whole thing sounds like contrived nonsense to assert a god, but to get a free pass avoiding defining its properties or dogmas!  This requires the irrational contortions of “theistic thinking”, just to participate, and is based on the usual “you can’t disprove my vague undefined deity thingy” (therefore Jesus  – and I win! ) .

  12. Hi Tyrone,
                       I’d agree with most of what you have to say.  However, watching such debates re-enforces the weakness of some arguments.  Many people are sheltered in their religious lives from an early age and are never exposed to an alternative view.  Challenges to religion are important because they show how little ground they have to stand on in most cases.  Much of society is too polite to upset the religious people around them, we often have to work with them or are related to them.  So debates in general allow an expression of views.  You are not likely to have someone in debate change their mind but many in the audience will recognise dishonesty in their own side.  I know a number of religious people who express their frustration at not being able to get someone who can argue well with the likes of Richard, Sam etc.  I’m waiting for the penny to drop of course but that is what it takes.  Challenging the religious will change minds and powerfully express views that make the religious feel uncomfortable.  Why do you think the new atheists are labelled as strident?

  13. anthony_aduhene
    The only thing I want to see is Richard Dawkins go head to head with William Lane Craig.
    Probably asked here before – why wont he?

    It is because WCL is a dishonest debater who has nothing of merit to contribute to a debate.

    It would only add to WCL’s undeserved status as a credible intellectual. (“Blithering idiot talks down leading scientist”, might improve the idiot’s CV, but has nothing to offer science, the scientist, or public education!)

    Richard explained it here:-

    Why I won’t take part in debate with fundamentalists (Also in Polish) – by Richard Dawkins  -  http://richarddawkins.net/foun

  14. The main reason to debate is to create an awareness that there is a fundamental difference of opinion. Parties of faith are mistakenly regarded as being relevant to the discussion on a whole range of issues having nothing to do with faith because there are simply more of them in the public eye. 

  15. I apologise Tyrone, for not addressing your concerns in the first place about debates.  Your questions are very well thought out and cover most concerns about the extent to which the debate format contributes to a better approximation of what’s “true”. 

    I appreciate that you can see the weaknesses of the debate format. There are many.  But as Doc Webster pointed out, where there are debates, it’s important to show up and challenge assertions and assumptions that are not challenged nearly enough. 

    The trouble with debates is that they are a form of show biz.  They don’t encourage immediate discussion, although they might stimulate it in a few cases. 

    The trouble with them is that they are promoted as though something can be solved by them, for instance the desire by many (mostly theists) that there is a Super Bowl of truth involved. 

    For instance, the desire by Anthony_aduhene to see Richard Dawkins the “KING of the atheists” (eye roll) vs. William Lane Craig the” KING of the sophisticated apologists” (double eye roll) go head to head in some kind of ultimate smackdown that would resolve the issue once and for all.  (I could easily be wrong about Anthony.  I hope Anthony explains WHY he wants to see this debate.  Alan has given you a link, and a good one.  I thought of doing the same but then, I had no idea what Anthony’s  or any other WLC apostle’s point was, and finally decided to ask.  I do hope Anthony  answer.)

    I am glad to see that at the age of 17, you can already see the potential benefits and drawbacks that the debate format contributes to the discussion. 

    This says a lot about you and also a lot about a world that lets you investigate the questions that matter to you.  You should always question the validity of any format that  claims to evaluate truth claims. 

    Either way, your post is a very positive sign.  Thank you. 

  16. Alan4discussion, and anyone else interested, I strongly suggest reading the following article: Fitzhugh, K. (2007). “Fact, theory, test and evolution”.
    — Zoologica Scripta: http://www.mobot.org/plantscie

    The majority of science is not done by employing deductive, let alone inductive, reasoning. See the wikipedia article on abductive inference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A

    I am not presenting negative evidence about science, but I am stressing a better and more accurate appraisal of how we do science. I would also recommend to anyone interested a good books on the philosophy of science:

    Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction by Samir Okasha: http://www.amazon.com/Philosop

    and

    Travels in Four Dimensions by Robin Lepoidevin: http://www.amazon.com/Travels-

  17. Whilst I agree with all the points made against live debates, I still think they are a good thing in general.

    The arrival of youtube has probably done more for our cause than any other single thing, and the live debates, with famous names, are often what people watch. In this way they are a very good introduction to anyone having doubts about their religious upbringing.

    Second, I find I learn more, and more quickly from a live debate than say a one hour documentary.

    Third, we may watch a debate to hear “our man” or “our woman” but we also get forced to hear what the opposition has to say and what they tell their congregations. And now we know – they have nothing to say.

  18. I will not repost my seemingly deleted post, but I will provide a link to an article that argues science produces primarily abductive inferences. Here is the link:

    “Fact, theory, test and evolution” published in Zoologica Scripta by Dr. Kirk Fitzhugh
    http://www.mobot.org/plantscie

    If you don’t want to read the whole article here is the summary paragraph located at the end of the article:
    “Ironically, in contrast to what was suggested by Barnosky & Kraatz (2007), what has been discussed here is largely a matter of semantics. An emphasis on associating ‘evolution’ with ‘fact’ presents the misguided connotation that science seeks certainty. Acknowledging that the statement, ‘evolution is a fact’, is an incorrect assertion has the benefit of focusing our attention back on the goal of science, which is to continually acquire causal understanding through the critical evaluation of our theories and hypotheses. Certainty provides no basis for elevating any evolutionary theory or hypothesis to the level of fact. The characterization and practice of science should be burdened as little as possible with catch phrases that promote misunderstanding.”

  19. @rdfrs-6535db331af80e44bd95190391177e93:disqus  – Sorry the system lost your post.

    “Ironically, in contrast to what was suggested by Barnosky & Kraatz (2007), what has been discussed here is largely a matter of semantics.

    The argument in splitting very high probability from “fact” is indeed a semantic one rather than a scientific issue.

    An emphasis on associating ‘evolution’ with ‘fact’ presents the misguided connotation that science seeks certainty.

    Science certainly seeks certainty, but is never complacent in claiming to have achieved it. However for practical purposes 99%+ certainty can be taken as “fact” subject to revision if new evidence turns up. Most technology and engineering is based on this view.

    Acknowledging that the statement, ‘evolution is a fact’, is an incorrect assertion has the benefit of focusing our attention back on the goal of science, which is to continually acquire causal understanding through the critical evaluation of our theories and hypotheses.

    That does not mean that nothing has been confirmed to a level of probability in which anything other than minor details are likely to be revised.  ( eg. Newton is 99.9999999% accurate in normal Earth surface conditions.)

    We must remember those false doubt-mongers, who pretend that because science does not know everything, it knows nothing!

    Certainty provides no basis for elevating any evolutionary theory or hypothesis to the level of fact.

    Thousands of experimental confirmations and observations, have shown the core features of evolution to be established beyond refutation.  The same applies to many scientific laws and scientific theories. In a complex subject covering millions of life-forms over millions of years, there must be considerable variation in details.

    The argument is semantic rather than material.

    Engineers get on with applying science, while philosophers bicker over words!

  20. Good points, but I don’t think you are seeing the entire picture.

    It is often said never to argue with a crazy person– but that leads to a world where crazy people win a lot of arguments (or believe they win them, which is just as bad).  At a certain point someone has to roll up his/her sleeves and jump into that mess.  For far too long religion has been that crazy person.  For far too long religion has hoodwinked people into believing that ITs way is the ONLY way.  Live debates break that cycle.

    Further, live debates (or videos of live debates) often play a central role in the transition from believer to non-believer.  The simple fact that someone, anyone, is willing to stand up to religion is a powerful thing.  And often, at least in R. Dawkins’ case, right from the start the “arrogance” and “stridency” that believers have been told he has is revealed to be untrue.  That initial failure, the improper classification of (or simply the lieas about) “the athiest” is often what gets the ball rolling.

    LIve debates, for all their problems, are an important part of the process. 

  21. Tyrone, while I see your points, overall I think the question is too broad to have a specific answer. Some debates have a decent structure, some don’t. Some audiences are pre-selected, some aren’t.

    I don’t like trying to categorize people, but for the purposes here this may help, so I’ll forge ahead and say that there are generally two kinds of debate audience: those that can look at points and evidence objectively, and those who seek supplication for their desires. In debates regarding religion in any form (as well as politics, alt med, UFOs, etc.), more of the latter are in attendance because most of those who fit into the former have already seen the flaws. So such debates are more about knowing the audience’s hotbuttons rather than making any kind of serious point. In other words, too few listening are likely to ever realize that reality is not determined by opinion, and a debate is worthless for producing knowledge. Even scientists who contest different theories know that the only way to ‘win’ is to produce more evidence.

    A knowledgeable debater will know how to reach both kinds of audience, and a good one will know how to be charismatic as well, and a great one will know how to play their opponent’s weaknesses. However, in the kind of debates we’re talking about here, the best one will be able to demonstrate the fundamental flaw of debating and instill the idea that results (as in, predictions, testable explanations, and dependable algorithms) are what real knowledge is made of, and emotional desires are simply crass self-indulgence.

    The thing is, debates are spectacles that really do draw in a certain number of people, and those that would never read any of Hitchens’ or Dawkins’ books will often watch a debate, if only in the hopes of seeing them ‘lose.’ This is a particular opportunity to reach someone, tricky though it might be. But it should always be one with a worthwhile structure.

  22. I can’t comment for others but for me, live debates are very interesting.

    Spontaneity, as they say, is the spice of life. I appreciate that a thorough arguing of the issue may sometimes be impossible due to time constraints, accepted topics and so forth but the overall impression one can get of a debater and where they are coming from through a live debate can be quite illuminating.

    I remember one debate where the rabbi involved, as the debate went on, found himself raising his voice louder and with more regularity as the deabte went on. It may be that some of his points were reasonable but because of this simple ‘total’ observation of him, I was left with the conclusion that he could only go so far with what he was prepared to know.

    In anycase, I am all for live debates but like most things, a grain of salt comes in handy.

  23. Personally I love live debates but my two concerns are:

    1.  I sometimes come away thinking that winners isn’t always the best arguement but the best person at putting their viewpoint across.  Therefor sometimes (IMO) the winner can be the wrong viewpoint.

    2.  I don’t think debates really change the minds of those who have strong viewpoints either way but rather help those who are in the middle or undecided work through the issues.  I guess a room filled with a strong viewpionted audience might not always be that helpful whereas a room full of “undecided” would be.

  24. Hi Tyrone
     
    I think you’ve raised a lot of good points regarding the mechanics of debates that are worth airing but in general I have to agree with GPWC and Al Denelsbeck  that if it were not for the live debate and You Tube we would not be where we are today.  I thank `god’ if there is one which I am sure there is not, that this format and these new media exists as they are capable of reaching thousands of interested people with little effort.  For those who wish to pursue matters in more detail that is where the reading of books comes in.
     
     
    I agree that there are many drawbacks and as you call it strawman and ‘Gish Gallop’ debating techniques that have to be taken into account but at the end of the day debates are won and lost on the strength and clarity of the views put forward.  In the end it is about `getting to the heart’ of the opponents main propositions and either casting doubt on them or completely destroying them.
     
     
    I would like to take a poll of people looking at this thread  who do not think that debates are useful by posing a simple question.  Would you change your position if the atheists won all the debates overwhelmingly hands down?
     
     
    I suspect that the answer would be yes.
     
     
    For me, public enemy number one is Professor William Lane Craig as his ability to send atheist debaters into retreat is legend and gives all other theists confidence who are all now using his arguments and techniques including Hamza Tsortzis.
     
     
    Lane Craig only has two arguments which atheist debaters are completely at a loss of how to cope with.  The first is the Cosmological argument regarding what caused the big bang and the fine tuning of the universe. This is also one of Tzortzis favourite arguments
     
     
    The second is Morality.  Which I would say is 50 percent of the theists reason for being in today’s world.  All his other arguments -  The afterlife, the existence of the Christian God, knowing Jesus without recourse to reason etc flow from these two arguments. 
     
     
    I would contend that if these two arguments were demolished Lane Craig would go into retirement and never be seen again in public.  If you do not believe this just look at his website.
     
    It is just up to atheists to get their act together on these two issues.
     
    I also suspect that this is the real reason Richard Dawkins won’t debate Lane Craig.

  25. @rdfrs-a634923a6239afafb633d9be10749d7b:disqus 

    .. .. .  for me, public enemy number one is Professor William Lane Craig as his ability to send atheist debaters into retreat is legend and gives all other theists confidence who are all now using his arguments and techniques including Hamza Tsortzis.

    Atheist debaters simply state honestly that some issues are unknown or uncertain. That is not a win for WLC except in there eyes of the gullible.  (If he was honest WLC would accept that they are unknown to ALL including himself!) The clueless will copy anything they like the sound of!
     

      Lane Craig only has two arguments which atheist debaters are completely at a loss of how to cope with.  The first is the Cosmological argument regarding what caused the big bang and the fine tuning of the universe. This is also one of Tzortzis favourite arguments

    WCL has no evidenced information on these issues, – just assertions which he challenges atheists to disprove, when  in front of gullible audiences, who are too ignorant to understand complex scientific answers.

    WCL is just a posing puffed up preacher who has nothing to contribute to human knowledge.

    I would like to take a poll of people looking at this thread  who do not think that debates are useful by posing a simple question.  Would you change your position if the atheists won all the debates  overwhelmingly hands down?

    The scientists and atheists have already won most of the debates among the educated. 
    What cannot be won over, is the closed minds of the indoctrinated uneducated ignorant, who choose not to understand science, cannot follow reasoning, and choose to sit in denial disputing well evidenced information in self-reinforcing conspiracy groups who copy disinformation and fallacious arguments from each other.

    I also suspect that this is the real reason Richard Dawkins won’t debate Lane Craig

    Richard Dawkins is on record as stating he will not debate with dishonest debaters who just make up cascades unevidenced nonsense, and challenge others to refute it in the style of the “Gish Gallop”!

  26. Tyrone. I assume the “17″ following your name refers to your age? If so, I want to commend you on a very thoughtful and mature analyses of live debates and the effectiveness thereof.
    Your question can be compared to the following question: “Are movies worthwile? Although many movies are based on novels and other literature, I am convinced they never fully depict the entire content/intentions of the respective author/s of the written versions. Yet, there are equally as many movie goers (if not more) than there are readers.
    It’s my opinion that live debates merely offer the vissualy prone spectator some excitement (especially when watching Cristopher Hitchens), while the true hardcore student still prefers the literary option of digging for “truths” and “answers”.

  27. The unfortunate outcome of public debate has been the spread of the Gish Gallop among creationist debaters.

    This is why RD refuses to debate them.

    They basically dump dozens of untested assertions and misinformation as possible in the first few minutes of their openeing leaving the atheist having to condense a dozen 2 hour classes to refute them.

    WL Craig does this with Kalam which is a philosophical Cosmological Hypothesis created before they even knew the earth revolved around the sun. In dumping that argument, along with arguments from authority, Quantum Physicists like Kraus have to redefine the universe in 21st century terms before they can even start.

  28. The unfortunate outcome of public debate has been the spread of the Gish Gallop among creationist debaters.

    This is why RD refuses to debate them.

    They basically dump dozens of untested assertions and misinformation as possible in the first few minutes of their openeing leaving the atheist having to condense a dozen 2 hour classes to refute them.

    WL Craig does this with Kalam which is a philosophical Cosmological Hypothesis created before they even knew the earth revolved around the sun. In dumping that argument, along with arguments from authority, Quantum Physicists like Kraus have to redefine the universe in 21st century terms before they can even start.

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