Apologists Debate Tricks: Mining the Process

Science is an emergent endeavour. The result of one experiment raises questions that prompt the scientist to devise a new experiment or at the very least explain the results. This process is often one that takes several years. There are often moments in the process where the experimenter is stumped. The eureka moment has not yet come. The experimenter may temporarily admit defeat, or even worse declare something as unknowable. The records of these moments are what guys like William Lane Craig and Frank Turek are looking for.

You see they want to use Darwin, or Galileo or Hume or any intellect obviously greater then their own to refute a scientific world view. They can claim that Darwin doubted his own theories, because he did! The part they leave out is that he later found more evidence that completely erased that doubt. They even call it “Darwin’s Doubt”!

Only a complete moron would discount Darwin’s later triumph but as this does not support a Religious world view, the apologist rather suspiciously omits the conclusion to Darwin’s story. The naturalistic world view has always been vulnerable to attack in this way. Religious apologists rely on the general ignorance of the populace by quoting early texts because they know the average person has no intimate knowledge of the research in question. This has two effects in a debate situation.

It forces the pro science debater to address the misstatement thereby reducing the time available to point out how ridiculous religion is. The second effect is that it creates a very lawyerly “reasonable doubt” in the brains of the more feebleminded in the audience, you know the ones that came to the debate for confirmation that their delusional faith is still intact.


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