Quote of the Day, by Papalinton On Debating Creationists

I have not been one to subscribe to any particular style of discourse, in this case debating, being proscribed as a form of public conversation because it is deemed inimical to progressing the truth of science and the scientific method. For too long scientists and science advocates have relied on the misperception that truth, fact and evidence alone, is sufficient enough in promulgating its message. In an ideal world that might be but it is not an ideal world and humanity is not obliged to 'know' the truth. The truth per se, whatever that term might mean, is not an imperative of humanity's survival instinct, any more than it is for any other animal on this planet. It is possible for all species, even Homo sapiens, to exist on this planet without the kind of scientific information and knowledge that we have accrued over time. The Dark Ages is one such historical example of a period of intellectual dormancy. Life would simply be different. And we are just as likely today as was at any time in the past to readily press the self-extinction button.

For too long scientists and science advocates have timorously shied away from debates. Science historically is a veritable babe in the woods in its level of experience and expertise in this most widely used format. The time is right, now, for scientists and like-minded to develop if not hone debating techniques and strategies that play to its great strengths as an explanatory tool. It is a misguided perception that the truth of science and the scientific method cannot be adequately served by and strongly promulgated through debate. If anything, science lends itself admirably to the formative debating process. Indeed debating is a central feature of the Socratic method of learning and teaching. The method of elenchus, or Socratic debate features cross-examination as a constituent technique for the purposes of refutation and testing the robustness of claims made. It is the fundamental technique of the Socratic method.

The truth and reality of science requires its advocates to confront superstition, magic ritual, supernaturalism and shamanic practice wherever and whenever it bubbles to the surface, head on. Debates provide that opportunity. Use it.