Re: "Facts" and Facts

Greg Laden (gladen@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Wed, 6 Dec 1995 22:26:47 -0500

Bob and others:

If one ever is in the situation of "debating" the issue of creationism in
a public forum, I strongly urge contacting the NCSE. It does not matter
how much one knows about evolution: The context of such debates is
different than what most of us are used to (and, indeed, many of these
"invitations" are setups: My first one was supposed to be a radio
discussion with another "evolutionist", but that person, who was never
identified to me, was "sick" so a "scientific" creationist did the radio
show with me instead. His name was, and I am not making this up, Dr.
Bible. Wow!). Anyway, the NCSE can help to cue potential debaters into
the way the game works.

I see the point Bob makes about not wanting to lower oneself to this
position, to give apparent legetimacy to the debate. Unfortunately, over
50 percent (or thereabouts) of Americans, in Harris polls taken over
recent years, claim that they are creationists or that evolution is
probably "merely a theory" or words to that effect. In reality, this
probably overestimates the number of actual dyed-in-the-wool creationists
(pardon the pun). But it does point out that the RR has got the ear of a
lot of people, or a lot more than we do, or at least it does suggest



On Wed, 6 Dec 1995, SS51000 wrote:

> I see that G. Laden was not an appropriate target for my barbs (not
> flames, I hope) at obscurantism. On the subject of public
> anti-creationism: I once passed up the chance to appear on a TV show in
> Kansas City to defend evolutionism, when I learned that the interviewer
> and audience would be fundamentalist Christians. Our University
> president later expressed his relief that I had not accepted the
> invitation, because he thought to have appeared in such a format would
> have been demeaning to the University. It is important to teach
> science; and it is important to avoid inadvertently reinforcing the
> impression that there is a *scientific* debate between scientific
> evolutionism and "scientific creationism." --Bob Graber

Greg Laden
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138

"It is a wise child that knows his own father."

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
--William Shakespeare