Creationist Fail: Michigan State scientists and philosophers refuse to engage creationists at a student-sponsored conference

This is a good example of how scientists and science-lovers should deal with creationists. And that is not to deal with them, at least in debates and meetings.

A while back, religious students at Michigan State University announced that they would hold a one-day “Origin Summit,” a meeting about creationism at a public university. That was legal because the summit was actually organized by a student religious group (The Baptist Collegiate Ministry), which has the right to book rooms on campus for its own activities. According to a piece by Mark Joseph Stern in Slate, though, the students didn’t have much to do with the conference, which was organized by Outside Influences. (Could it be. . . . Satan?)

“The Origin Summit“‘s speakers and program are shown below; note the distinguished lineup. Sadly, I have never heard of any of these scientists or science educators.

. . . That’s a rather pugnacious program, and includes attacks on the Big Bang (really?) and on Rich Lenski’s well-known experiments on bacterial evolution. They also played the Hitler Card, i.e., Hitler’s genocides were strongly influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution. (For the definitive refutation of that ridiculous canard, see my colleague Bob Richards’s essay, “Was Hitler a Darwinian?“, free online. Hint: the answer is “no.”)

What the creationists really wanted was a debate, in particular a debate with MSU philosophy professor Rob Pennock, a well-known opponent of intelligent design and author of what I think is the best anti-ID book, Tower of Babel. Pennock also testified for the prosecution in the famous Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District et al. case, a case in which ID was resoundingly trounced as “not science.”

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This is very interesting, Bertold, but what do creationists have to debate with? The best apologists among them deny science and claim the evidence is all in the bible, then they get into woo and science fiction to prove their bible claims. It's sort of like I tell you that I saw a flying monkey but you don't believe me. Then I go out of my way to argue that it is possible for a monkey to have wings.

The other day I ran onto a new bible proof online that says the bible has to be true. If it was not then it would mean that Hitler just "got away with it" for all the people he had killed. Theists have some real weird thinking.


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