Given the ideological opposition by the site’s founder to having ‘debates’ as a way of making progress or solving disagreements over at Peaceful Science (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/, “In my view, science is not up for public debate.”) on topics related to human and life origins, I wonder what the attitudes of people towards ‘origins debates’ are here at TSZ. Do you call it ‘the Creation Wars’ as S. Joshua Swamidass does?
Below are a few questions for those who do not wish to play by Swamidass’ rules and who indeed, don’t mind putting their ideas, knowledge and ability to answer challenges to their theories, dogmas and biases, to the test in debate. It’s not like Joshua can actually defend ‘methodological naturalism’ other than with multiple falsehoods and having to sell his ‘Me-Scientist’ piety badge at a discount. So, let us imagine a hypothetical and suppose a ‘friendly debate’ were possible to construct and see if anyone here can play along. These are survey questions about a ‘debate’ that many people seem willing to admit they are themselves already engaged in here and elsewhere.
1. When considered as not only a discussion, but rather as a ‘debate,’ what is/are the key debate topic(s) over human & life origins really about?
2. Is there a particular intractable problem that you have found never gets resolved in debates about human and life origins?
3. Which debate(s) about human and life origins do you feel most qualified to participate in? Given the diversity of fields and topics involved, it’s expected that everyone should be able to openly admit many things they don’t know about human and life origins.
4. Is there a particular debate topic that you are surprised people try to raise with you because it is so obvious they wouldn’t have more than the slightest possibility of convincing an expert in the field?
5. How many women are ‘debating’ about human and life origins in contrast to men?
6. How many young people are more than superficially interested in human & life origins enough to ‘debate’ about it or to the extent that they keep track of debates on the topic in contrast with older people? Is there a level of getting fed up with listening to too much argumentation and controversy, especially in the USA, regarding this topic that late Millennials, Gen Y & Gen Z are less interested in bickering about events from 50,000+ years ago with only some vague & obscure comparison with ‘modern human beings’ (homo sapiens sapiens)? Are today’s youth much more interested in the recent understanding of humanity in the anthropocene period to worry too much if Darwin killed Adam & Eve or if instead he had just grown comfortably numb in his own unbelief?
7. Is debating about human & life origins any fun? Does it frustrate people here to endlessly ‘debate’ with a guy like ST Cordova who claims to be both an IDist & a young earth creationist, or is it actually enjoyable or valuable for anyone? Not a few people still keep coming back to do it. There must be something motivational in ‘defending the anti-creationist, anti-IDist, anti-theistic evolutionist and sometimes anti-theology and anti-religious side in the argument,’ according to the skeptics here. What is it that makes people want to debate human & life origins?
8. If you could choose one opponent, who would you most like to debate with? If you want to be nice, then don’t name the person’s name, instead just speak of what you want to debate them about. Is there a specific subcategory of IDist, or materialist or evolutionary creationist, for example, that particularly grinds your wheels to a halt when they start speaking, such that you feel you must answer them online?
9. Is it a kind of relentless opposition that is always linked with theology or worldview at its roots, rather than only natural science, which makes origins topics almost endlessly fascinating for people around the world and sometimes nearby at home?
10. Isn’t it almost comic that many participants on public forums like this one think they hold a ‘winning record’ in ‘debates’ about human and life origins on the internet (cf. Dunning-Kruger, illusory superiority) & in reality only few can really claim expertise over others on any given topic or field & if they have it, don’t need to ‘prove’ it anywhere on the internet against amateurs?
This thread ties back with a previous one about origins discussions, in the aim of helping enable conversations without vilification and with more honesty involved and encouraged.