I keep turning down these honors

Gosh, you’d think I’d welcome the attention. I just got a call from an apologetics group asking if I’d consider debating Frank Turek next fall. My answer:

“Debates are a tool to give bad ideas, like those of Frank Turek, an undeserved platform. No.”

He was a nice guy on the phone, but I’m done with being nice to creationists. Oh, wait, I was done with that 30 years ago.


  1. Artor says

    Bwa-ha-ha! Someone didn’t do their homework if they thought they could get you to debate Turek.

  2. Saad says

    That name sounds really familiar. I think that might be the guy who implied Hitler was a humanist during a debate with Hitchens.

  3. says

    “Debates are a tool to give bad ideas, like those of Frank Turek, an undeserved platform. No.”

    Are Turek’s ideas written down somewhere? If so, there’s no point to debating because we’re dealing with the truth/falsity of some information not with the energy, passion, or humor-value of its delivery. If I have a bunch of facts (like an argument about god) I ought to be able to write it down and you can read it yourself.

  4. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    PZ, You are contradicting yourself, the fact they keep calling you for debate is proof you already are famous. You know they wouldn’t call some amateur to debate, they can only make the debate important when they defeat a famous professor.

    thank you for reading me be so facetious.

  5. robro says

    Instead of a debate, how about a duel? He calls the wrath of god down on you to deliver a plague of locusts. You expose him to a microbe that adapted to whatever vaccine was previously available for it.

    Oops, am I tempting fate?

  6. John Morales says

    robro, yeah, you are.

    The Wrath of God usually manifests as a mob of people.

    Remember Hypatia.

  7. DLC says

    Instead of Turek, how about you debate a concrete wall ? There’s several pieces of wall just sitting down in Southern California you could practice on. Given Turek’s nature you would have more effect on the concrete.

  8. zetopan says

    “the fact they keep calling you for debate is proof you already are famous”

    That is not necessarily true. Several years ago someone admitted on the net how they were suckered into being presented at a pro creationism debate as a “famous evolutionary biologist”, while he was in fact neither famous nor a biologist. Creationists will eagerly inflate the credentials of anyone that they debate to make their “win” more important sounding to their perpetually confused followers. This does not negate PZ’s fame, but it does show why the above “proof” claim is actually a non sequitur.

  9. robro says

    John Morales — Sorry, that’s not the same thing. That’s inciting a mob to violence, not god causing a plague of locusts. Obviously the terms of the duel would need to be more specific…I was just spitballing an idea…such as Turek can only pray for this one thing.

  10. says

    Ha! Turek is the best/worst example of a modern apologist/used-god salesman: fast-talking, nothing but bold assertions, the usual (oft-corrected!) lies about non-Christian viewpoints, the usual lies about science, no capacity for absorbing new information either about his own religion or any fucking thing else. He’s a cookie-cutter apologist with literally nothing new to say. You’d be having the same arguments you would have if you’d debated him 30 years ago.

    It’s long past time atheists just ignored these idiots. They don’t play to win, they just play to whoop up the home crowd. It’d be like your football team rolling up to play the Dallas Cowboys and finding out you were playing their cheerleaders. The result of the game would be irrelevant to the Cowboys’ crowd, just as it always is when apologists face atheists – they’re there to buttress the notion that their Jibbus-belief is A-OK, and nothing else. But you knew that.