Sunday, July 25, 2010

Questions to Creationists

How do you win a debate?  Better question yet, how do you win a mind?  I.e. how do you not just win, but convince someone?  Debate is a two pronged spear.  You can't just show evidence.  You have to overcome objections.  You often have to break down a thick fortress of disinformation.  This is [unfortunately] especially true of the evolution and creation debate

So, is there a way to scale the walls and siege the city of creationism's bulwark?


Get them out of objection mode and into question mode.  They *have* to be made to think and not just rebut. 

Only a well formed question can do this.

Think of times that someone has really turned your thinking around.  Has it ever been a silver bullet piece of evidence?  Maybe.  Far more likely than not in my mind, is that it was an unshakable question.  A haunting question.  A question that you couldn't run from.  A question that kept you awake at night wondering the answer to, internally wrestling with for hours.

My two questions I ask when debating hardcore creationists before I ever discuss evidences:

What would it take to convince you that evolution is true?  How much evidence?  What kind of evidence?  How would you know that it was valid?  Where would you find it? (Btw, I've had one creationist be honest with me when I asked this question and she said, "The Bible would have to say that it's true."  I then kindly dismissed myself from the conversation and said that she wasn't ready to discuss the matter.)


What would nature look like if evolution were true?  What would genetics look like?  What would the fossil record look like?  Geology?  Radiometric dating?  What would anatomy look like?  What would biogeography look like?  Ecology?  The tree of life?  Pathogens?  etc, etc.

Here's the scenario you create by doing that: they either set such a high criteria that they realize they aren't being rational or they set an achievable set of criteria that you then steam roll with thousands of pounds of evidence.  Either way is a battle won.  O, and by the way, if this seems arrogant, feel free to let them turn the tables.  From either direction we have the higher ground. 

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