I did something I rarely do at a debate—I lost my temper. Normally, I can let ignorance roll like water off a duck’s back, but sometimes there are such stunning and dazzling displays of dunce-hood that make it hard to catch your breath or focus clearly.

I debate regularly at a local “higher education” institution for theology. Like in the Barnes and Noble store the irony of a term like “Christian Fiction” is lost in the same smoke that clouds minds with “theological higher education,” but that is not what set me off on a 30-minute rant about intelligent design (ID).

Of course, I said there was nothing intelligent about it and posited the question, “Rather than have human beings born helpless and needy, why didn’t God just give us all the knowledge he has so we can be productive from the womb and, perhaps, even assist the doctor in the delivery?” A hush fell over the room, but a brave soul stood and recited dogma saying, “No one knows the mind of God.” That set me off. Since Intelligent Design was the subject, I asked what university granted God a diploma as a designer or engineer? Yahweh U?

I picked up where Neil deGrasse Tyson started by asking the students, “What engineer or designer would place a playpen next to a toxic waste dump? Why can birds see better than human beings? Why are our ears facing forward, when I need to know if some Christian is about to sneak up from behind and Shanghai me away to the Vatican or worse, Pat Robertson’s house?” Why can’t I regenerate organs like other animals? Why does anyone need to be taught about God? It seems that would be a priority for such an egotistical bastard.

Why does God need to test anyone? He already knows the answers. If he does not then perhaps he is nothing more than the Great Karnak. Why is Satan allowed to exist? Is it for warped entertainment or is it because he cannot do a thing about him. Why don’t my nails retract? Why do I need sunglasses instead of just a film that slips over my eye to protect me from harmful effects of the sun?

I went on to discuss evolution and told them about the blind watchmaker, paleontology, geology, fossilization processes, erosion, amino acids and more including the Big Bang theory as well as space exploration that shoots holes in Intelligent Design even citing that "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence and that it was not my duty to supply it as I already made my case making it clear any reference to 2,000-year-old book filled with incorrect scientific evidence as well as well as a plethora of contradictions, was hardly a reliable source, especially seeing that everything in the Bible was written about at least 1,000 years earlier in Kemetic religions.

Suddenly, I realized that no one was talking asides from me. I was highly embarrassed by my outburst, apologized to the instructor, the students and left the scene. On the way home, I cursed myself for allowing such an outburst to mark my presence at Yahweh U. My telephone rang while I was working my way back to a dark spot to hide my shame. It was the professor. He just wanted to tell me that there was no need to apologize and that they wanted me back, but this time in the auditorium so more people could participate, including instructors.

I guess I didn’t piss them off as much as I thought because many wanted to know my sources and how I could rattle them off without referring to notes. I was still ashamed, but I suppose I showed that nonbelievers actually have solid reasons for not believing. Until next time: “Cogito ergo sum.”

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Comment by Bertold Brautigan on August 31, 2017 at 6:15pm

A friend once shared her grandpa's addendum to the old saying about leading a horse to water: but you can salt the oats.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 31, 2017 at 6:09pm
Glen--Don't sweat it. I'm more of a challenger. Don't throw out unsupported "alternative facts" if you don't want to be challenged on those same grounds. I realize that talking to a true believer follows one of my invented axioms and that is "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him do the backstroke."
Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 31, 2017 at 4:37pm

I should clarify that when i said you were militaristic, Donald, I meant it facetiously.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 31, 2017 at 12:39pm

Thomas--I agree whole heartedly with every word. Being 77% of the population, one expect more compassion and empathy for the world but it seems the opposite is true. I, for one, am happy, joyful and have completely enjoyed my life and the people I've had the good fortune to be associated with.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 31, 2017 at 12:35pm

Unfortunately,  I didn't tape it because most are pretty dull. Occasionally I get a particularly bright student unafraid to step into the arena. I don't try to embarrass any of the students. Ever, now and them someone is unafraid to make a case which is what a debate is all about. but this one time made me step into the deep end of the pool and see how many could swim. None could. I got out, dried off and went my merry way. From now on, I going to record these sessions. I never know what will come out of the student's mouths. Or, for that atter, mine

Comment by Thomas Murray on August 31, 2017 at 12:24pm

Donald,

Refer to what Loren posted a few days ago ...

"Atheists’ anger doesn’t prove that we’re selfish, or joyless, or miserable. It shows that we have compassion, and a sense of justice. We’re angry because we see terrible harm all around us, and we feel desperately motivated to stop it."

Greta Christina

   So I wish I was there to see your anger against the overflowing ignorance of religious people. I'd give you a standing ovation.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 30, 2017 at 10:27am

Donald, if you have that on tape perhaps you would share it with us. Or next time give us a voyeuristic thrill!

You are so MILITARISTIC in pushing your views. I wish others were similarly so. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. There is Donald reasoning again. Look over yander.

Comment by John Elder on August 30, 2017 at 6:09am

I agree with Loren, and applaud your loss of temper. I , for one, think science has been far too tolerant and accommodating towards theistic beliefs. If we were debating these issues within the scientific community we would never be so polite and circumspect among ourselves. I realize the amount of frustration we suffer when debating these christian beliefs. Especially when we deal with the concepts and falsities of intelligent design and tortured anti-evolution arguments.  I constantly hear colleagues say: You just can't Argue with these people. And then they give up. I feel that only lends more false credibility to the fake science and theology. I really do think science needs to more bluntly and publicly challenge these beliefs to deservedly discredit them in the public mind. Thanks for taking a serious stand Donald. Cheers- John.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 29, 2017 at 9:00pm
Bertold--this chart pretty well sums it up. I could a few more, but it isn't necessary.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 29, 2017 at 8:58pm
Loren--I just tired of their out of the book q jest ions and answers. There wasn't an orinal thought in the entire place except for the professor who I suspect of being a closet nonbeliever. He's asked me there numerous time with the stated purpose giving his students something to think about. Go figure. Nevertheless, I normally don't let those things bother me but particular night it got under my skin.

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