How to Really Win an Argument with a Creationist

The internet loves debates, and perhaps none more than the evolution – creationism debate which usually devolves into calling people morons or saying they’re going to hell. There is without a doubt more people on the Darwinian evolution side on the internet, yet polls in the US show a different picture amongst the general population. For instance, Gallup’s regular poll on evolution shows that only 15% hold a Darwinian view of evolution while 46% believe in young earth creationism. So within the general populace evolutionists are greatly outnumbered. This is further marred by the fact that many self-professed Darwinian supporters do not even understand the theory correctly. It’s clear that in the public discussion, Darwinists are at a loss despite their monopoly on the science.

There’s also plenty of advice on youtube and other places on how best to win arguments against Creationists or Climate Change deniers, or other hot-button culture war issues. The problem is that almost all of them rely on pointing to evidence to counter the other person’s views. This will almost never work. We no longer live in a world (and never really did) where wit and argumentation can settle controversies like it was some 17th century theological dialogue. People can only change their beliefs voluntarily and, (to paraphrase the famed hypnotist Emile Coue) the only type of persuasion is self-persuasion. Continue reading “How to Really Win an Argument with a Creationist”

The Drone Strike Debate and Ruby Ridge

Yesterday Rand Paul made headlines for doing an impromptu old-school talking filibuster on the Senate floor to oppose President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan for the CIA head. Paul admitted that he would probably still vote to confirm Brennan and that his speech was more to bring attention to the administration’s drone policy. What has followed has thus far been the height of the debate over the drones.

However, it’s important to note that this really isn’t about drones. The anti-war left and many paleo-conservatives have long criticized the use of drones for many different reasons – the psychological disassociation of the drone pilots from the war, the use of drones to subvert another nation’s sovereignty, and the high collateral damage from the program. This new debate is about the legal justification given by the Obama administration for using drones to target American citizens for assassination. It mostly comes from the targeted killing of suspected terrorist and American citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki and his sixteen year old son, both killed by drones in Yemen. The justification given was loosely defined as Yemen was not a traditional battlefield and Awlaki did not pose a traditional imminent threat. Continue reading “The Drone Strike Debate and Ruby Ridge”