The Contest: Creation and Evolution

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Discussion by: Stephen of Wimbledon

I was intrigued by Joseph Mastropaolo's suggested contest, which he charaterizes as a way of "improving the quality of arguments between creationists and evolutionists".  His characterization, of course, immediately begins to set out the agenda by:

  • Assuming that there is an argument to be had (i.e. that creation myths and the sciences of biology, zoology, paleontology, morphology, genetics, ethology, botany, geology – just to name a few – are in some way comparable).
  • Confusing (or misusing?) the two very different meanings of the word argument [an exchange of divergent views vs. reasoning from a set of accepted premises in support of an idea] to finesse the fiction that a comparison can be made.
  • Assuming that the quality of the resulting vacuous comparison is poor (in a sense other than scientists and creationists tend to be dismissive of each other).  Perhaps, meaning that both sides could improve the nature of the resulting political debate … ?

 

Clearly, no real scientist with a reputation would take up such a laughably, and obviously engineered, debate.  To paraphrase Richard Dawkin's oft-repeated phrase: "That would look great on Mastropaolo's resumé, not so great on mine."

 

For someone like me, however, it's an itch I can't scratch.

 

While I have no intention of merely contacting Mastropaolo in order to take up his offer – given the obvious real agenda – I am concerned that, left unanswered, Mastropaolo's challenge could begin to gain political currency simply by standing unanswered.  An obvious parallel is James Randi's $1M Challenge.  The longer the challenge stands, the more easy it is for creationists to point to it as 'evidence' that scientists are frightened to take them on.

 

While I'm not familiar with the rules and procedures of California's alternative dispute resolution model known as a mini-trial, it seems likely that this format is designed for civil litigation – i.e. the bar for testing the quality of evidence is set low, compared to that for a criminal case, and possibly even low when compared to a full civil hearing.

 

In addition, Mastropaulo has stated publicly that the mini-trial would follow this format:

  1. Mastropaolo [will] present the argument in favor of a literal interpretation of the creation story
  2. A … scientist [will] argue that a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is more scientific

 

This appears to mean, on the face of it, that the focus of the mini-trial will be on the truth or otherwise of the Book of Genesis.  It is diffficult to see how that equates to improving the argument that Mastropaulo has pretended exists between science and creationism as, by this format, scientists would already be excluded from presenting any actual science.

 

Mastropaolo makes this clearer by adding: "Evolutionists (his name for scientists) are not stupid people … they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial [sic]".  If the mini-trial's stated objective is only to judge the truth or otherwise of the Book of Genesis then there is, of course, evidence from anthropology, archeology, bible studies, comparative literature, and so on.  Is Mastropaolo saying that such evidence is excluded because it is not, by his definition, scientific?  If so, then the proposed 'trial' is, straightforwardly, fixed.

 

Mastropaolo has also suggested that a single judge preside, and decide.  How to interpret this idea?  Having given it some thought my only conclusion is that deciding on a judge becomes a most vexed question (even assuming that an available  judge can be found).  Despite Mastropaulo's obvious gift for dissembling, I am reluctant to conclude a more sinister objective – though the possibilities are obvious when we consider that Mastropaulo's idea gains strength from merely existing unchallenged …

 

According to reports: Mastropaolo has also stated that the contest rules on evidence are that it must be scientific, which means it is "objective, valid, reliable and calibrated".  I am no scientist, I have some scientific training but I have never engaged in original research.   I do, however, know that science weighs evidence differently – according to discipline.  I give that caveat before I jump in with the following:

  • Why 'reliable'?  This seems to me to be another Mastropaolo trick as the right measure should surely be verifiable.
  • Why 'calibrated'?  It occurs to me that all forms of measurement use abitrary scales and that rounding is inescapable and often subjective.  While that means there are no absolute [not subject to any limitation, unconditionally correct] measures that does not mean that there are no objective measures.  In addition evidence is not calibrated, instruments used to measure evidence are calibrated (If I remember correctly, usually using some form of trigonometry).  Is Mastropaulo planning an attack via in infinitesimally small god moving between rounding errors while denying the existence of mathematics?
  • Why 'valid'?  This does seem to be a lower bar to clear than the usual logical and coherent.  My suggestion, for what its worth, is that without a far more comprehensive description – in the contest rules – of what constitutes a logical and consistent case means the door will be left open for inferences that, while not inconsistent or falafious in themselves, could lead to false conclusions being set before the mini-trial as valid arguments in the legal sense).

 

Finally, Mastropaulo tells us why he believes his challenge will not be taken up.  He claims: Evolution cannot be proved scientifically.

 

This is obviously a come-on.  Evolution is obviously true to anyone who has taken the time to view the facts.  Even though I tell myself that Mastropaulo is a creationist, and therefore gunning for evolutionary theory, I fall for it every time I read it.

 

Mastropaulo twists the knife he has thrust into the back of Truth with this little titbit: "It turns out that there is nothing in the Universe [that] is evolving, everything is devolving, everything is going in the opposite direction".

 

I have hatched a plan.

 

While we cannot simply accept Mastropaulo's plan, we can announce an opposing plan – and publicly invite him to take part.

 

All we have to do is take Mastropaulo's idea and fix the above problems first.

 

What do you all think of this idea?

 

If enough of you like this, I'd be happy to write up a proper challenge with enough wiggle room to bait the hook for Mastropaulo – or indeed any other creationist.

 

Also, how do we get this idea off the ground?

 

I could not care less about the $10,000 – but would shaming Mastropaulo into participating for the sake of truth be a good enough draw?  In addition Mastropaulo is in California (US) and I'm in London (GB), i.e. on opposite sides of the Planet.

 

Does anyone have a public link to a set of rules for a California mini-trial (e.g. Bar Association)?

 

All ideas welcome!

 

Peace.

60 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by OHooligan:

      Hi OHooligan,

      … the Dover trial is a good starting point.

      That’s very good, I’d forgotten that. I might even ask him about that, and the case of Edwards vs. Aguillard.

      Peace.

  1. I wouldn’t worry about Mastropaolo. His challenge has already been standing in some form for over a decade; it only made the news recently because he managed to remind some journalists of it. He declares himself unbeaten in all that time, but he has demonstrated no power to persuade scientists or politicians who aren’t already creationists of some stripe.

    • In reply to #2 by SmartLX:

      Hi SmartLX,

      I wouldn’t worry about Mastropaolo. His challenge has already been standing in some form for over a decade; it only made the news recently because he managed to remind some journalists of it.

      That is my main point. While he remains unchallenged he can make PR. I’m basically looking for a way to shut him up.

      The problem is he wants to play with loaded dice. He’s so insecure that he has loaded up the dice at least four ways. That must mean we need to take a different route.

      Peace.

  2. Real scientists use peer review. Creationists asks us to use a trial. Trials aren’t for deciding on the correctness of truths in general; it’s more for deciding on whether someone committed a crime, whether a person’s legal rights are being violated, or how to divide resources after divorce. The closest trials get to saying what’s scientifically accurate is to say what’s fit to be taught in science lessons, to which the answer seems to be, “This stuff, because it’s scientifically accurate; not that stuff, because it isn’t”.

    But these trials, of which there have been a gazillion, have always favoured evolution over creationism, except for the Scopes Trial, which was trying someone for breaking a “no evolution” law that was religiously passed and scientifically overturned. So why do creationists not only keep trying to teach illegal things and end up being ruled to be wrong yet again, but also ask for even more trials? They can’t even be sure getting a conservative Christian as the judge would ensure their victory, because John E Jones III didn’t just disagree with them, he mocked them mercilessly.

    • In reply to #3 by Jos Gibbons:

      Hi Jos,

      Real scientists use peer review. Creationists asks us to use a trial. Trials aren’t for deciding on the correctness of truths in general …

      I’m not sure I understand. Surely the word trial – used to describe a tribunal – is derived from trying (i.e. testing) the truth or otherwise of evidence?

      On that basis a legal trial is about attempting to find justice. It would be true to say that justice is a moveable feast, that the legal profession can only apply the law – often imperfectly – and that the law may be an ass.

      But a trial still begins by attempting to find the truth of the matter before it.

      Peace.

  3. Since creationism requires supernatural processes and since there has been a $1 million dollar prize in existence for many decades for anyone who can provide sufficiently strong evidence for anything supernatural, this guy’s ploy is trumped before he even started it. One just needs to ask him why he doesn’t take the million dollars if creationism is so evident.

    • In reply to #4 by conmeo:

      Hi Conmeo,

      Since creationism requires supernatural processes and since there has been a $1 million dollar prize in existence for many decades for anyone who can provide sufficiently strong evidence for anything supernatural …

      Yes! James Randi’s challenge is to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability not, as Mastropaulo is doing, attempting to prove an alternative origins hypothesis.

      In the meantime Mastropaulo is making headlines that persuade people (as far as I know – though it may only make the Faithful feel comfortable in their ignorance) that his ideas are superior to science.

      Peace.

  4. when a child pretends to shoot you dead, by not pointing out that simply pointing a toy at you and making a noise is evidently not going to cause you any harm you are not increasing his credibility as a marksman

    • In reply to #5 by SaganTheCat:

      Hi Sagan,

      when a child pretends to shoot you dead, by not pointing out that simply pointing a toy at you and making a noise is evidently not going to cause you any harm you are not increasing his credibility as a marksman

      When an Adult pretends to shoot down an established scientific fact by making a lot of noise it harms us all. Not responding to adults with delusions does not increase our credibility as citizens, or as an advanced society.

      Peace.

      • In reply to #16 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

        In reply to #5 by SaganTheCat:

        When an Adult pretends to shoot down an esta…

        maybe it harms us all but patronising these poeple harms science more. we have the FOI act being abused to stop climate scientists get on with their work, that harms us all too. i’ts the time that’s given to to peoplw who are not interested in understanding the truth, who love to see a scientists turn up to a filmed debate so they can edit it and mine it and ultimately provide the ammo they need to keep theri followers happy.

        it’s just not worth the time. their notions of a success in any debate are based on getting a nasty ad hominem thrown in and maybe a few laughs from the audience. the child analogy fits because adult they may be legally but they’re still playing childrens games to impress childish minds.

        i’d agree with you but for the fact that life’s too short. anyone who takes the response “I won’t debate with you because it’s simply not science” as an admission of failure from a scientist is unlikely to be holding much political or economic power. maybe the showboaters who do this but the simpletons who follow them won’t be converted by rational debate

        • In reply to #28 by SaganTheCat:

          Hi Sagan,

          maybe it harms us all but patronising these poeple harms science more.

          That’s a good point – on balance is ignoring the Village Idiot better than engaging with the Village Idiot. Do we demean ourslves simply by being seen to give a moron the time of day?

          Three things:

          • The Village Idiot may not be stupid – they may simply be ignorant. My position is that we owe it to each other to be as welcoming as possible and to spend time trying to educate each other.

          • Perception is everything. Particularly in the modern World where a lie can fly around the Globe before Truth has got it’s boots on. Every anniversary of the setting up of this prize a big lie will spread its wings and take flight once more.

          • There is an audience of village idiots out there who are taking comfort in the lie, rather than looking for truth.

          … it’s the time that’s given to to people who are not interested in understanding the truth, who love to see a scientists turn up to a filmed debate so they can edit it and mine it and ultimately provide the ammo they need to keep their followers happy.

          I’m not interested in changing Maz’s mind. I’m interested in his followers – particularly the ones who don’t have as much invested in untrue ideas as Maz. It’s about switching people on to the fact that they are lied to. It’s about changing minds. It’s about advancing the frontiers of science in the political space.

          … it’s just not worth the time.

          As a humanist I could not disagree more. With so much to play for now is the hour, and no time spent on such a project would be wasted.

          ‘their’ notions of a success in any debate are based on getting a nasty ad hominem thrown in and maybe a few laughs from the audience.

          But that’s my whole point! Show these charlatans, liars and deceivers for what they are!

          … the child analogy fits because adult they may be legally but they’re still playing childrens games to impress childish minds.

          But the analogy breaks down because children are not moving the levers of political power and influence. What they do may seem childish to you but it has real, hard, inescapable and nasty consequences.

          i’d agree with you but for the fact that life’s too short.

          Again, I don’t agree – I think you’re completely wrong. Millions of our fellow human beings are being deceived, robbed, disenfranchised, cheated, undermined and subjegated by these idiots. Isn’t that worth a at least a little effort on our part?

          anyone who takes the response “I won’t debate with you because it’s simply not science” as an admission of failure from a scientist is unlikely to be holding much political or economic power.

          To quote Willy Wonker: “WRONG my friend!” One name, just one … of many: George Bush II.

          maybe the showboaters who do this but the simpletons who follow them won’t be converted by rational debate.

          Democracy may be under supreme pressure at the moment – but votes still count. The ignorant and easily influenced are also easier to turn out at the polls.

          Peace.

  5. There are thousands of “judges” competent in cosmological and biological sciences who have made their pronouncements in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    Whether Mastropaulo can find some muppet judge to play his silly games by his twisted rules seems irrelevant.

    Let him play to the IDiots!

    Clearly, no real scientist with a reputation would take up such a laughably, and obviously engineered, debate. To paraphrase Richard Dawkin’s oft-repeated phrase: “That would look great on Mastropaolo’s resumé, not so great on mine!

    Quite! .. . .. Relativity would not be made clearer by Einstein debating with a village idiot!

    Mastropaolo – should be dismissed with the contempt he deserves!

    Mastropaolo makes this clearer by adding: “Evolutionists (his name for scientists) are not stupid people … they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial .

    Why give credibility to those who open a discussion as proven liars! No debate is improved by including liars!

    I was intrigued by Joseph Mastropaolo’s suggested contest, which he charaterizes as a way of “improving the quality of arguments between creationists and evolutionists”.

    If it is evolution that is debated, to improve the debate (as biologists do),** simply exclude the creationist liars**, who have nothing useful to contribute.

    There is absolutely no prospect of “creationist arguments” being “improved”, and likewise, absolutely no prospect of scientific debates being “improved” by creationist participation! (Genesis is totally irrelevant to biology.)

    His initial assertion is a propagandist non-starter, falsely trying to present himself as being on a par with leading scientists – which would look good on his CV!

    • In reply to #6 by Alan4discussion:

      Hi Alan,

      There are thousands of “judges” competent in cosmological and biological sciences who have made their pronouncements in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

      Good point.

      Mastropaolo – should be dismissed with the contempt he deserves!

      The problem is that’s not possible while the Media employ idiots too!

      Why give credibility to those who open a discussion as proven liars!

      Be glad of a link that proves Maz has lied in a public forum before – just sayin’.

      His initial assertion is a propagandist non-starter, falsely trying to present himself as being on a par with leading scientists – which would look good on his CV!

      True. On the other hand it remains on his CV until he is challenged. This is my main point, while he remains unchallenged the Media will continue to publish his nonsense. I’m basically looking for a way to shut him up.

      Peace.

      • In reply to #18 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

        Why give credibility to those who open a discussion as proven liars!

        Be glad of a link that proves Maz has lied in a public forum before – just sayin’.

        There’s no need, it’s in the OP. – even with his his contrived claims:-

        @OP- According to reports: Mastropaolo has also stated that the contest rules on evidence are that it must be scientific, which means it is “objective, valid, reliable and calibrated”.

        @OP Mastropaolo makes this clearer by adding: “Evolutionists (his name for scientists) are not stupid people … they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial

        This is clearly lying about the abundant scientific evidence! Stuff his shennigans and any shifty semantics! I’ll call him out as a liar on that statement, and then argue from a scientific rational basis! !

        True. On the other hand it remains on his CV until he is challenged. This is my main point, while he remains unchallenged the Media will continue to publish his nonsense. I’m basically looking for a way to shut him up.

        We cannot limit the stupidity of media muppets or shut him up. Ignore him and his silly contest as far as possible, but If he wants a challenge, we are under no obligation to play by his stacked rules or accept his contorted semantics..

        @Stephen – The rules of Maz’s contest are here.

        **”Creation Science!” ** – They can’t get past a two word heading without lying!

        He is not open to reason or evidence so just hammer and ridicule the ignorant clown!!

        • In reply to #26 by Alan4discussion:

          Hi Alan,

          Be glad of a link that proves Maz has lied in a public forum before – just sayin’.

          There’s no need, it’s in the OP. – even with his his contrived claims:-

          @OP- According to reports: Mast…

          There’s no need, it’s in the OP.

          Mastropaolo makes this clearer by adding: “Evolutionists (his name for scientists) are not stupid people … they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial

          This is clearly lying about the abundant scientific evidence! Stuff his shennigans and any shifty semantics! I’ll call him out as a liar on that statement, and then argue from a scientific rational basis

          Not really lying, Maz is only setting out what he believes to be the position; i.e. that scientists have a case to answer.

          We cannot limit the stupidity of media muppets …

          That’s probably true, but I don’t see how that’s relevant – if anything all the more reason to shut up Maz, so that the Media Muppets can no longer use him as a source.

          He is not open to reason or evidence so just hammer and ridicule the ignorant clown!

          Yep, that’s my plan in a nutshell.

          Peace.

      • In reply to #18 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

        True. On the other hand it remains on his CV until he is challenged.

        If a Flat-Earthist or Moon-landing denier, challenges a space shuttle pilot to a public argument about the form of the Earth, “I’m not wasting my time on this idiot!”, is a perfectly reasonable answer from the pilot. -
        Cretard dismissed! It might look good on the cretard’s CV …… but …. busy scientists and others have better things to do!

        This is my main point, while he remains unchallenged the Media will continue to publish his nonsense.

        The media will publish any nonsense which sells – the more bizarre the better it sells to the ignorant and mentally superficial! (see the astrology sections)

        • In reply to #30 by Alan4discussion:

          Hi Alan,

          True. On the other hand it remains on his CV until he is challenged.

          If a Flat-Earthist or Moon-landing denier, challenges a space shuttle pilot to a public argument about the form of the Earth, “I’m not wasting my time on this idiot!”, is a perfectly reasonable answer from the pilot.

          Also true. But this isn’t an argument about saying ‘I’m not playing your Fool’. It’s about recognising that there’s a bigger picture; POLITICS.

          It’s a nasty business, but we should all hold our noses and get stuck in. If we don’t we automatically leave the high ground of politics to be taken by the moronic hoards – without even a threat, let alone a fight!

          ["I'm not wasting my time on this idiot!" = ] Creotard dismissed!

          If only. If only there were even a smidgen of truth in this. But the reality is two things happen:

          • Other creotards see their prejudices and ignorance reinforced (the Scientist ran away, ha ha!)

          • The Questionner gets kudos. Worse he (it is nearly always a He), gets POLITICAL KUDOS!

          It might look good on the cretard’s CV …… but …. busy scientists and others have better things to do!

          True. I already said that (see the OP). That’s why I’m putting myself forward.

          This is my main point, while he remains unchallenged the Media will continue to publish his nonsense.

          The media will publish any nonsense which sells – the more bizarre the better it sells to the ignorant and mentally superficial! (see the astrology sections)

          That’s just the counsel of despair. Give up without even trying, that’s your political stance against the liars, cheats and poltically powerful fraudsters?

          Come on Alan, you can do better than that – surely.

          Peace.

          • In reply to #34 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

            That’s just the counsel of despair. Give up without even trying, that’s your political stance against the liars, cheats and poltically powerful fraudsters?

            My view is that “good news” about cretards, is “no news” – or as little news as possible.

            Any scientist who gives them a platform to argue, gives them publicity and a claim to parity of status!

            Come on Alan, you can do better than that – surely.

            I’m not sure about US mini-trials, but in arbitration in the UK the (“judge”), chair or ombudsman, has to be agreed by both parties. (See threads on Sharia cases)

            There is no way that these clowns are going to agree to an unbiased judge (unless you define ignorance as lack of bias).

            One of the reasons why building contracts specify arbitration chaired by an architect, is because judges are known to give perverse judgements on technical subjects of which they are ignorant! They do swallow plausible misleading bullshit if they don’t know the subject and liars or obfuscators are presented as “expert witnesses”.

            There is no way cretinists are going to accept honest judgements with proper expert witnesses, so I would stick to ridicule and dismissal.

            Logic, science and evidence, are wasted on these people and also on their media stooges.

            Participation only gives them opportunities to argue about what is “evidence”, and gain further publicity “debating the controversy”, along with the risk of some ignorant biased judge giving a perverse judgement which we will never hear the last of !! .

            As I said earlier, “hammer him in the press by all means”, but don’t play a staked deck by his silly rules. Ignore the money and the bet, and deal with the real issues, but on honest scientific terms!

            Only the naive and fools bet with crooked card sharps!

          • In reply to #41 by Alan4discussion:

            Hi Alan,

            My view is that “good news” about creatards, is “no news” – or as little news as possible.

            I’m sorry Alan, I’m obviously not explaining this clearly: Maz’s Challenge generates news. He and his fellow creationists need do next to nothing – while they remain unchallenged – to generate news every year at minimum. In addition, as time passes, the number of references they will make to the challenge in private meetings and presentations (that people like you and I will never see) will rise.

            This is not about today’s news story – this is about public relations and advertising. It’s a message that can be repeated over and over again like “Where do you want to go today?” (Microsoft) or “Vorsprung durch technik.” (Audi) or “Have it your way.” (Burger King).

            Any scientist who gives them a platform to argue, gives them publicity and a claim to parity of status!

            That’s why I, a non-scientist, am volunteering. Imagine the PR if I can beat them!

            I’m not sure about US mini-trials, but in arbitration in the UK the (“judge”), chair or ombudsman, has to be agreed by both parties.

            This is something I have hinted (perhaps not too clearly, but I had to try and keep my OP to a readable length) we need to address. It seems highly likely that Maz knows a California Superior Court Judge (or two) that he can call on.

            There is no way that these clowns are going to agree to an unbiased judge (unless you define ignorance as lack of bias).

            That’s not important. The important thing is to undermine the creationist PR. I have said this many times now; I think they’ll run away from a fair fight. But to get to that point we need to find a way to get them to negotiate. My best idea was to make a Counter-Challenge (see OP).

            One of the reasons why building contracts specify arbitration chaired by an architect, is because judges are known to give perverse judgements on technical subjects of which they are ignorant

            Good point. I’ll bear that in mind – if I can get this off the ground.

            There is no way cretinists are going to accept honest judgements with proper expert witnesses, so I would stick to ridicule and dismissal.

            That approach just boosts their PR. They are saying: “Look at how uncivilized these people are: Not only do they lack the courage of their convictions – as we can see from their failure to take up the challenge – but they are reduced to name calling, rudeness and cursing. Clearly these people (meaning you Alan) are not be taken seriously.”

            Logic, science and evidence, are wasted on these people and also on their media stooges.

            I don’t agree. There is one sure way of not changing minds – not trying.

            It’s important to remember that the real target is not the ‘professional’ creationists who have set up and promote the PR around this challenge. It’s the millions in the audience.

            Participation only gives them opportunities to argue about what is “evidence”, and gain further publicity “debating the controversy”, along with the risk of some ignorant biased judge giving a perverse judgement which we will never hear the last of!

            Alan; again with the counsel of despair. Come on – gird those loins!

            What is it about the sound of debate that you don’t like?

            You sound like someone who isn’t convinced by the evidence – that you think there is a big chance that we can’t make a winning argument?

            As I said earlier, “hammer him in the press by all means”

            How do we do that by not addressing the challenge?

            Don’t play a staked deck by his silly rules.

            That was never my intention, and I have always recognized that danger (see the OP, and my posts 13 and 23).

            Ignore the money and the bet, and deal with the real issues, but on honest scientific terms!

            That is my aim.

            Only the naive and fools bet with crooked card sharps!

            Only a fool would sit down with a card sharp and let him deal. That is not what I’m suggesting. I’m saying we need rules that keep the game straight – and we need people round the table to be watching.

            Peace.

          • In reply to #44 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

            My view is that “good news” about creatards, is “no news” – or as little news as possible.

            I’m sorry Alan, I’m obviously not explaining this clearly: Maz’s Challenge generates news.

            The same applies to astrologers! They will continue to get column inches! Debating with them will only give them more. The media loves pseudo-controversy! It generates saleable copy!

            What you are missing is the political aspect.

            Reputable scientists are not going to debate with these idiots. (RD has explained his position.)

            He and his fellow creationists need do next to nothing – while they remain unchallenged – to generate news every year at minimum. In addition, as time passes, the number of references they will make to the challenge in private meetings and presentations (that people like you and I will never see) will rise.

            It is simply a fact of life that liars will spout lies in private meetings of fellow fumble-brains! I am not naive enough to think anything I say (or any scientists say), will be honestly reported at such meetings!

            They do not “remain unchallenged”! They are challenged by every reputable scientific publication in the world!

            That’s why I, a non-scientist, am volunteering. Imagine the PR if I can beat them!

            … . .. and imagine the propaganda if they fit you up and you lose!

            I’m not sure about US mini-trials, but in arbitration in the UK the (“judge”), chair or ombudsman, has to be agreed by both parties.

            This is something I have hinted (perhaps not too clearly, but I had to try and keep my OP to a readable length) we need to address. It seems highly likely that Maz knows a California Superior Court Judge (or two) that he can call on.

            The fundagelical theology colleges (Liberty university etc) have been churning out graduates with law degrees for years. American judges have been described as “the best money can buy”!

            Think of it from the judge’s perspective when they are trying to find one to participate.

            It is bound to be claimed that any scientifically educated judge is not impartial (ie not sufficiently ignorant of science)

            Likewise, what judge apart from a fundagelical (who is too blinkered to see it coming), is going to want to look like a scientific illiterate in the history books. On the other hand US judge appointments are political – and there are a lot fundamentalist scientifically illiterate US politicians in high places who might show favour to a religinut judge!

            The argument is about the connivance of the bent “trial” not about the evidenced truth of science. It is his trial and his agenda, to be fought on his terms – against anyone daft enough to accept those terms.

            It is quite likely that if anyone plays his game with an ignoramus or fundie judge, they will get either a perverse judgement against them, or a fudged compromise which gives Biblical literalism 50% progress towards credibility from its present zilch position.

            (There is no middle position between scientific laws and creationist mythology in reality, but there is in the minds of believers or “fudgists” who are often divorced from reality.)

            He is only going to play, if the odds are stacked his way, and he is going to scream “biased conspiracy” or “cheat!” (as they usually do) if they are not!
            No reputable scientist is going to agree to respect some ignoramus ruling on scientific theories or laws, regardless of if the ignoramus is a a judge or not!

            Only a fool would sit down with a card sharp and let him deal. That is not what I’m suggesting. I’m saying we need rules that keep the game straight – and we need people round the table to be watching.

            Then you will give him lots of material and publicity arguing about rules and claiming scientists take him seriously. He has set out his terms for a stacked deck and a crooked deal. He has shown no intention of taking any other approach!

            Walk away, with the dismissal that only scientific illiterates believe in a literal Genesis and a Young Earth!

            Those with any level of education will believe you. The bigoted, thick, and ignorant fundies, were never going to listen to evidence anyway!

          • In reply to #45 by Alan4discussion:

            Hi Alan,

            Many thanks for your dogged responses. However, there doesn’t appear to be anything new this time round.

            Line 1: It seems to me that I have covered off most of your latest questions in the OP, and where I have expanded on the OP in Comments 13, 22, 23, 33 and 34.

            Maz’s Challenge generates news.

            The same applies to astrologers!

            I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            Reputable scientists are not going to debate with these idiots.

            I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            It is simply a fact of life that liars will spout lies in private meetings of fellow fumble-brains! I am not naive enough to think anything I say (or any scientists say), will be honestly reported at such meetings!

            Your not being asked to stand. I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            They do not “remain unchallenged”! They are challenged by every reputable scientific publication in the world!

            It’s not a scientific argument, it’s a political argument. I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            … imagine the propaganda if they fit you up and you lose!

            Extremely unlikely. I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            The fundagelical theology colleges (Liberty university etc) have been churning out graduates with law degrees for years [etc.]

            I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            It is bound to be claimed that any scientifically educated judge is not impartial (ie not sufficiently ignorant of science)

            I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            Likewise, what judge apart from a fundagelical (who is too blinkered to see it coming), is going to want to look like a scientific illiterate in the history books.

            Precisely.

            On the other hand US judge appointments are political – and there are a lot fundamentalist scientifically illiterate US politicians in high places who might show favour to a religinut judge!

            That is a highly prejudicial description of US judges. Certainly care is required – but you’re still assuming that this will get as far as a judgement. I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            The argument is about the connivance of the bent “trial” not about the evidenced truth of science. It is his trial and his agenda, to be fought on his terms – against anyone daft enough to accept those terms.

            No, it’s about manufacturing political PR. I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            There is no middle position between scientific laws and creationist mythology in reality, but there is in the minds of believers or “fudgists” who are often divorced from reality.

            Agreed, but that is a different subject to the political agenda under discussion – it is besides the point.

            He [Maz] is only going to play, if the odds are stacked his way, and he is going to scream “biased conspiracy” or “cheat!” (as they usually do) [etc.]

            Agreed. I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            Only a fool would sit down with a card sharp and let him deal. That is not what I’m suggesting. I’m saying we need rules that keep the game straight – and we need people round the table to be watching.

            I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            Then you will give him lots of material and publicity arguing about rules and claiming scientists take him seriously [etc.]

            I refer you to Line 1 – if you believe I have not covered this point then I need a clearer question from you please.

            Walk away, with the dismissal that only scientific illiterates believe in a literal Genesis … those with any level of education will believe you.

            No. I cannot abandon my fellow human beings just because they have been deceived, denied a proper education, and are forced by religious-inspired social pressure to live in ignorance.

            The bigoted, thick, and ignorant fundies, were never going to listen to evidence anyway!

            Your description only covers a few ‘professional’ creationists – leeches on society injecting ignorance, dogma and hate in order to fraudulently suck the cash out of the pockets of innocents. My target is not them – it’s the innocents.

            Peace.

          • In reply to #47 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

            In reply to #45 by Alan4discussion:

            Hi Alan,

            Many thanks for your dogged responses. However, there doesn’t appear to be anything new this time round.

            Sorry if we are going around with repetition, but you still look tempted to jump in, despite recognising some of the pit-falls!

            Clearly we agree on many of the points.

          • In reply to #49 by Alan4discussion:

            Hi Alan,

            … you still look tempted to jump in, despite recognising some of the pit-falls!

            I have started. Although support here was hard to come by, I was pleased to see that no-one identified a problem for which there is no solution.

            Clearly any plan will require a risk assessment for each stage – with contingency plans. Many stages also need promoters – if not supporters – and I’m not sure how to go about that.

            The best approach would seem to be present some form of business case to people and organisations with an established public profile?

            Whichever is the best way to present a plan, there first has to be a plan.

            Peace.

          • I’m not sure whether I think your pro-active approach with its political intentions/agenda has promise (of converts, in the last analysis) or not but I certainly find your reasoning persuasive. I’m unsure about something. If I understand it correctly, Mastropaolo is a full-on creationist and you will oppose that i.e. 6000 years, Adam and Eve, all that stuff in which case I support you though Alan4discussion’s often intemperately expressed (no change there then) but otherwise equally reasonable points give me pause as to the political astuteness of what you propose. If though, creationism is principally about a possibly supernatural (as currently described) explanation for why there is anything in the first place, I’m a fence straddler (but-head according to RD?) and suspect there may be more like me. I don’t advocate the supernatural explanation, it’s more that I think Science exceeds its brief in dismissing one. This isn’t the place to rehearse my arguments for those doubts (not beliefs) but I would want to know whether to read from your hymnsheet or whether to stay out of it altogether – what I shan’t ever do anyway is support organised religion. But I would want to be clear if I support you, what exactly it is I’m supporting.reply to #50 by Stephen of Wimbledon:*

            In reply to #49 by Alan4discussion:

            Hi Alan,

            … you still look tempted to jump in, despite recognising some of the pit-falls!

            I have started. Although support here was hard to come by, I was pleased to see that no-one identified a problem for which there is no solution.

            Clearly any plan will r…

          • In reply to #51 by jburnforti:

            Hi jburnforti,

            Interesting handle.

            I’m not sure whether I think your pro-active approach with its political intentions/agenda has promise (of converts, in the last analysis) or not but I certainly find your reasoning persuasive.

            So do I. It’s a worry, isn’t it.

            I’m unsure about something. If I understand it correctly, Mastropaolo is a full-on creationist and you will oppose that i.e. 6,000 years, Adam and Eve, all that stuff in which case I support you …

            Maz is a full-blown Creationist. It is decidedly not clear, from the Challenge description, whether we are being asked to argue the validity of a Young Earth hypothesis using the Bible as the only evidence – or whether Maz is saying that the Case to be answered is that Science has come up with no evidence to falsify Genesis 1. The Challenge
            Description seems to me to point to the exclusion of historical studies, only Science can be used by a Challenger. But Maz then poisons the Well by saying that a Scientist would know that no scientific evidence could be presented that would support a Challenger’s case!

            There needs to be some clarification.

            Alan4discussion’s equally reasonable points give me pause as to the political astuteness of what you propose.

            This is the crux of the matter, at this stage. I don’t think, given the above confusion, we have enough information to make an informed decision.

            If though, creationism is principally about a possibly supernatural (as currently described) explanation for why there is anything in the first place, I’m a fence straddler … and [I] suspect there may be more like me.

            Creationism is not about the possible, it’s not even about the probable. It’s about certainty. Creationism claims to know something. Maz is part of that idea.

            I don’t advocate the supernatural explanation, it’s more that I think Science exceeds its brief in dismissing one.

            How fascinating.

            This isn’t the place to rehearse my arguments for those doubts (not beliefs) …

            How disappointing.

            I would want to know whether to read from your hymnsheet or whether to stay out of it altogether – what I shan’t ever do anyway is support organised religion. But I would want to be clear if I support you, what exactly it is I’m supporting.

            Initially in this thread support only meant you think countering Maz is a good P.R. exercise.

            Later, I used the word support to mean organisations (although a high profile individual would be welcome) using their ability to generate media stories – otherwise the result will fall flat and fail to produce continuous P.R.. This was Michael Zimmerman’s experience. Sorry for any confusion.

            For the record, I think my approach overcomes some weaknesses in Zimmerman’s approach. His story (see link) must have left a few red faces at the Guardian (no change there then).

            It is worth noting that Maz and his acolytes are currently generating P.R. at the rate of more than one story per quarter. We could rail, uselessly, at the appalling vacuity of our news media (again) – or we could do something about it!

            Thank you for your contribution.

            Peace.

          • Doesn’t sound as though I’m quite ready to be a Creationist then. I think I probably would be called a “but-head” inasmuch as I’m not able to be counterintuitive enough to ignore beginnings and ends which then leads me to wonder what came before the beginning and how. It’s hardly a new idea but it’s the monkey that doesn’t want to get off my back. But more to the point, Maz sounds loonier than me (to me) so I’ll support you. But I think you’re asking for an outcome assessment and that’s tricky. But so what? To quote Hillel “If not now, when?” And Goethe says “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”. (Enough already. Ed.) Rotsa ruck.

            in reply to #57 by Stephen of Wimbledon:*

            In reply to #51 by jburnforti:

            Hi jburnforti,

            Interesting handle.

            I’m not sure whether I think your pro-active approach with its political intentions/agenda has promise (of converts, in the last analysis) or not but I certainly find your reasoning persuasive.

            So do I. It’s a worry, isn’t it.

            I…

  6. Mastropaolo [will] present the argument in favor of a literal interpretation of the creation story
    A … scientist [will] argue that a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is more scientific

    I wonder what sort of ‘judge’ would be suitable to evaluate the scientific evidence on offer. What a clown.

    • In reply to #7 by papa lazaru:

      Hi papa lazaru,

      I wonder what sort of ‘judge’ would be suitable to evaluate the scientific evidence on offer.

      Me too. It seems to me that this is part of Maz’s game plan. He has made his supposed ‘contest’ as difficult as he can to take up just so that he can perpetuate his claimed bragging rights. The single judge idea is part of his defense against actually having to take part because he knows it is bound to be a sticking point.

      That’s why I came up with the idea of a counter-contest. Present the problems of the rules back to him by proposing a different form of trial with better, fair, rules.

      The $10,000 is another such trick. Why have it at all?

      Peace.

  7. I am a judge.
    I have been judging since I was able to reason.

    I judge tons of shit all day everyday. Some things are perplexing and the verdict is still out. Some things are settled and the verdict is in. Of these things that are settled and the verdict is in, some verdicts are strong; some verdicts are weak. That is, I have supreme confidence in some verdicts and less confidence in others.

    As far as the evolution v creation verdict is concerned, it is in, it is strong, and it gets bolstered with new information and evidence every minute of every day. It is correct and verifiably so.

    I do not need to allow some third party to act as a judge so that I am relegated to playing the part of an attorney for the defense of evolution so that they can infuse their fresh batch of delusion into the issue.

    I am a judge.

    • In reply to #9 by crookedshoes:

      Hi crookedshoes,

      I judge tons of shit all day everyday.

      It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      Some things are settled and the verdict is in [etc.]

      This is a drum I beat time and again. To the general public, the great unwashed, no matter is settled until they have personally decided. Many people live their entire lives in ignorance, and with a view based on ignorance. Still others live lives based on false hopes because they refuse to countenance the possibility that someone they trusted may have lied. We owe it to our fellow human beings to at least try.

      This is not about science, it’s not even about truth. It’s about politics and in politics nothing is ever settled forever.

      Peace.

  8. It’s a contest to establish and explain the scientific basis of evolution!

    The geneticists are in the lead – closely followed by the biochemists, pathologists, general biologists, plant-breeders, animal breeders, and pharmacists
    - OH! and and when the starting gun fired, Joseph Mastropaolo ran off backwards in the wrong direction.
    A bit like the odd confused infant at his or her first sports-day event!

    • In reply to #10 by Alan4discussion:

      Hi Alan,

      It’s a contest to establish and explain the scientific basis of evolution!

      Reading between the lines, I don’t think it is. It’s a PR stunt designed to generate headlines at least once a year (on the anniversary). On that basis it should be easy to take down.

      I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. Look at the evidence: The contest rules appear designed to be as obnoxious as possible. This gives Maz two lines of defense:

      • A possible Contestant (A) applies. Maz hands over a more detailed set of rules. The Contestant attempts to negotiate, but Maz says; “No deal. My challenge my rules.” and the Contestant withdraws on the basis that they’re not playing a twisted game. Maz goes to Fox and crows that he has defeated A without even having to go to trial!

      • A possible Contestant (B) applies. Maz hands over a more detailed set of rules. The Contestant attempts to negotiate and uses clever PR to make the negotiations public and Maz breaks it off claiming that B acted in ‘bad faith’. Maz goes to Fox and crows that he has defeated B by exposing how nasty those evolutionists are!

      Maz’s backstop scenario is that if someone turns up (let’s call them Contestant Idiot) with the money and decides to go ahead with the rules still in Maz’s favor. Maz can’t believe his luck and moves to his end game with fixed ‘trial’ and massive PR victory.

      So long as we play by Maz’s rules its game over. But, if we present our own challenge – with our own, fair, rules – we’re having the contest in the place Maz really wants to win, in the Media. But he’ll have to box very clever indeed not to lose. Because, so long as there are two contests, with two sets of rules – and one appears fairer than the other – he can’t play an end game without losing face.

      He will, I suspect, try to spin a withdrawal of his contest – and non-participation in ours – but we can inflict some serious PR damage in the process. Best of all we can either remove his challenge from the political arena, or neuter its effect.

      Peace.

  9. An honest debate, on any subject, requires honesty between the debaters, by which I mean no deliberate lies. I would consider the chances of that occurring with a creatard to be effectively zero.

    • In reply to #17 by SomersetJohn:

      An honest debate, on any subject, requires honesty between the debaters, by which I mean no deliberate lies. I would consider the chances of that occurring with a creatard to be effectively zero.
      A nasty little comment on several levels.

      • In reply to #25 by logicophilosophicus:

        In reply to #17 by SomersetJohn:

        An honest debate, on any subject, requires honesty between the debaters, by which I mean no deliberate lies. I would consider the chances of that occurring with a creatard to be effectively zero.

        A nasty little comment on several levels.

        Really?? You have evidence supporting the merits of publicly debating with ignorant liars, or the “nastiness” of honest statements?? – Or was it just the blinker-specs and the psychological projection again??

    • In reply to #17 by SomersetJohn:

      Hi John,

      An honest debate, on any subject, requires honesty between the debaters

      That’s why the rules are important, and the Judge(s). Also, you’re assuming this will go as far as a debate. I’m very far from convinced that this will be the case.

      … by which I mean no deliberate lies. I would consider the chances of that occurring with a Creatard to be effectively zero.

      Me too. Again, the rules need to give us room for a few comebacks. Here is satirical example that might be very hard to reproduce in real life:

      • Maz: A is true!

      • Stephen: Here is evidence that A is not true. Did Maz lie?

      • Maz: A (or evidence for A) is open to interpretation.

      • Stephen: If A is subject to interpretation it is a matter of conjecture and probability. Here are the probabilities that A is true. Maz saying A is true = a probability of 1. But now Maz claims a true interpretation among several all of which must, by definition, be less than 1 (if possible adding also that Maz’s interpretation is one of the lesser probabilities). Maz lied, QED. Move to strike down Maz’s argument that A is true.

      But, again, will we ever get to a trial? I suggest not.

      Peace.

  10. I was talking with my brother about this. He’s stacked the deck. He wont change his rules because he’d lose. I think the way to beat him is let him make any rules he wants including choosing a judge, evidence etc.
    Then, to make the return wager that using the same rules, evidence etc, a judge of your choosing will hear the opposite argument, double or nothing on the $$. I didn’t read all the way through his proposal as it was silly, but basically turning it back on him with a double or nothing would make him backtrack, say not fair etc. Which is really your goal I think. Who cares what he believes afterwards. But I do agree, it got me pissed off too reading that on I believe a link on Yahoo news.
    I’m tired so don’t know if I made sense but basically use his rules right back on him.

    • In reply to #31 by poseyjt:

      I was talking with my brother about this. He [Mastropaulo] stacked the deck.

      Yes, and I have tried to outline how he has stacked the deck in the OP, and Comments 13 & 23.

      He [Mastropaulo, a.k.a. Maz] wont change his rules because he’d lose.

      Yes again. That’s why I’ve tried to think around this problem – and I think the best answer is to write up our own contest with our own rules – and invite Maz to take part. If we do this privately, Maz will simply turn us down. But the true nature of his challenge is a PR / Political campaign. If we challenge him publicly he will be forced to at least acknowledge that there is an alternative contest – diluting the strength of his PR. However, if we word our challenge well, we might also be able to tempt him to the negotiating table on equal terms.

      I think the way to beat him is let him make any rules he wants including choosing a judge, evidence etc.

      I thought about that; let him make the noose, then hang himself. Unfortunately, no matter how ignorant He and his Organisation may be, that doesn’t mean they’re stupid. The contest has been set up to be easy for them to win – the rules he has outlined make that perfectly clear.

      Then, to make the return wager that using the same rules, evidence etc, a judge of your choosing will hear the opposite argument, double or nothing on the $$.

      Sorry, but I don’t see that working. Two judges, each one chosen by a different side, come to different conclusions. It would resolve nothing.

      Also, the money is part of Maz’s defense; he doesn’t really want to go to trial if he can help it. The PR he currently gets from the challenge is free – talk about even more money will keep him away. Also, I don’t have $30,000 sloshing around in my bank account. Do you?

      I didn’t read all the way through his proposal … but basically turning it back on him with a double or nothing would make him backtrack, say ‘not fair’ etc. Which is really your goal I think.

      Not really. Because this is a political battle PR and perception are key. The money is just a distraction, forget about the money for the moment. If we get into public discussion with Maz there will be an immediate tension – who will walk away crying ‘foul’ first? The important thing is to ensure we have equal bragging rights if talks break down and an honest and equal contest if possible. Either way we would win – because we would have shown that Maz is not for real. Whereas, if we do nothing, his PR just grows.

      Peace.

  11. “improving the quality of arguments between creationists and evolutionists”.

    The only way to improve the argument is for creationists to actually get one. No evidence, no argument.

  12. I’m with Stephen on this, in that it seems grossly unfair and dispiriting that this idiot can carry on crowing about his ‘victory’ due to no-one coming forward to play his silly game.

    Of course, reading the conditions I can only suspect there’s a catch and he’s loaded the deck completely in his favour. Or, put forward the challenge in the knowledge that on scientist of substance would either a) risk their reputation on a challenge which seems likely to be loaded against them b) want to be seen even engaging with someone like this. I’d agree with that.

    The only issue is that he’s getting publicity on an annual basis, with no one appearing in the media to speak out. So I offer Stephen moral support to do whatever you think you can.

    Two notes to make-
    1. Is his challenge really big news? Does anyone care?
    2. Without a ‘name’ or ‘face’ (i.e. prominent scientist), would a counter-challenge be reported strongly enough to draw Maz to comment?

    • In reply to #40 by Dave H:

      Hi Dave,

      Never wrestle with a pig. You just get covered in shit, and the pig likes the attention.

      Politics is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

      No counter-argument means the creationist are currently winning by default. In addition, the creationists are winning a PR battle without us even getting out of our chairs.

      There’s one sure way of losing an argument, and that’s not to take part.

      Peace.

  13. why do you want to mucking around with these bunch of sins ( theology ) creatures by try to argue with them as to whether their magic stone can laid golden eggs..?

    the real issue is not creation, not their god . but their trick to sell ” a mean to evate social responsibility and commitment” to their sins subscribers..- a commitment to this world they share and take. …

    • In reply to #46 by hanhtran:

      Hi hanhtran,

      why do you want to mucking around with these bunch of sins ( theology ) creatures [etc.]

      Please see my Comment #47.

      the real issue is not creation, not their god . but their trick to sell ” a mean to evate [evade?] social responsibility – a commitment to this world they share

      No. The real issue is the innocents and the creationist’s use of PR and media to fleece them as the sheep they have made of the innocents.

      Peace.

  14. To be quiet honest .. as much as I would love to finally see Creationism and with that all religion and new age mumbojumbo and pseudo science and superstition and and and get wiped of this planet .. this contest would most likely just be a waste of time. First of all .. there is no contest. As mmurray already stated you might aswell put alchemy vs chemistry or astrology vs astronomy. And second : Even if you would have a ruling from a superübercourt that rules over the entire galaxy .. these indotrinated people would still hold on to their beliefs. At least some of them. I suggest we spent or time on research and discussion and just wait them out.

    • And Newton (Alchemy AND Chemistry) and Kepler (Astrology AND Astronomy) could, with justification, be called as expert witnesses by either side. Hmm!

      reply to #52 by marcfromgermany:*

      To be quiet honest .. as much as I would love to finally see Creationism and with that all religion and new age mumbojumbo and pseudo science and superstition and and and get wiped of this planet .. this contest would most likely just be a waste of time. First of all .. there is no contest. As mmurr…

      • In reply to #53 by jburnforti:

        And Newton (Alchemy AND Chemistry) and Kepler (Astrology AND Astronomy) could, with justification, be called as expert witnesses by either side. Hmm!

        … But the science has moved on in the light of new evidence from the state it was in at that period in history. The creationism is still stuck with, “God-did-it-by-magic”!

        • Or, arguably,science explains some bit of magic, and then both magic and science have moved on leaving one less witch to be dunked – or perhaps shaman in the case of acetylsalicilic acid (apologies for having been too lazy to check spelling) “In reply to #54 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #53 by jburnforti:

          And Newton (Alchemy AND Chemistry) and Kepler (Astrology AND Astronomy) could, with justification, be called as expert witnesses by either side. Hmm!

          … But the science has moved on in the light of new evidence from the state it was in at that period in history. Th…

          • Re magic and science moving has a little of the flavour of the story about the Californian mathematician who informed a colleague he was leaving to work in Texas and was told he’d be raising both the States’ IQs by doing so.* Made me laugh.. “In reply to #55 by jburnforti:*

            Or, arguably,science explains some bit of magic, and then both magic and science have moved on leaving one less witch to be dunked – or perhaps shaman in the case of acetylsalicilic acid (apologies for having been too lazy to check spelling) “In reply to #54 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #53 by j…

    • In reply to #52 by marcfromgermany:

      Hi Marc,

      To be quiet honest .. as much as I would love to finally see Creationism and with that all religion and new age mumbojumbo and pseudo science and superstition and and and get wiped of this planet ..

      You don’t appear to have read the full OP Marc. When you do, you ‘ll find I am not nearly as ambitious as that.

      This contest would most likely just be a waste of time.

      Interesting. Why?

      First of all .. As mmurray already stated you might aswell put alchemy vs chemistry or astrology vs astronomy.

      I already addressed Michael’s point.

      Second: Even if you would have a ruling from a superübercourt … these indoctrinated people would still hold on to their beliefs.

      So your evidence in support of the decision to not take on Maz is that you can conceive of a World where minds remain unchanged by evidence of misdeeds?

      Let me see if I’ve got this straight: By your reckoning, The Washington Post should have ignored their reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when they uncovered information suggesting a cover up in the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and the White House? Ah, Watergate, who needed that, right?

      I suggest we spent or time on research and discussion and just wait them out.

      I can see I haven’t spelled this out often enough yet, so here it is again: This is not a scientific argument. This is a political campaign by Creationists to generate positive creation P.R. – and it’s working. I link to an even more worrying story than the Guardian’s – at HuffPost. See the link in the previous Comment.

      Peace.

    • In reply to #52 by marcfromgermany:

      To be quiet honest .. as much as I would love to finally see Creationism and with that all religion and new age mumbojumbo and pseudo science and superstition and and and get wiped of this planet…

      I hope you’re exaggerating. That statement is just as scary as some of the things creationists say. Reminds me too much of Stalinism, and I actually do lean toward socialism politically.

      • In reply to #61 by —:email: !binary |- bXNvdXRoODQ3QHlhaG9vLmNvbQ==:username: !binary |- c2ZmbWFkbWFuNjY=:

        In reply to #52 by marcfromgermany:

        To be quiet honest .. as much as I would love to finally see Creationism and with that all religion and new age mumbojumbo and pseudo science and superstition and and and get wiped of this planet…

        I hope you’re exaggerating. That statement is just as scary as some of the things creationists say. Reminds me too much of Stalinism, and I actually do lean toward socialism politically.

        Marc said:
        The concept of “Creationism and with that all religion and new age mumbojumbo and pseudo science and superstition get wiped of this planet.”. .

        Not “Creationists” wiped from the planet!

  15. I felt I’d been a little flippant so I went back and read your OP. Briefly, he sounds wily and I wouldn’t waste any time being generous about his motives/honesty. Your idea is fine but can’t be judged properly until you’ve fleshed it out. Look forward to it.

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