Wow. I was listening to this video and thinking, “I’ve heard all this before — these are the arguments against debating creationists from 20 years ago!” They’re all there: the “for the audience” claims, the Gish gallop, every lie takes 10 seconds to give, 10 minutes to refute, etc., etc., etc. It was, like, deja vu, man.

The only difference is that the creationists were never arguing for genocide. I don’t think.

It makes me regret those debates I had with creationists.


  1. kenbakermn says

    Actually, debating a fascist is easy. Just say “you’re wrong, debate over.” Style points if you punch him.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    The only difference is that the creationists were never arguing for genocide. I don’t think.

    Many of them will try to defend past fictional genocidal events – i.e. the Great Flood.

  3. Ichthyic says

    The only difference is that the creationists were never arguing for genocide. I don’t think.

    ahhhh! that’s the gotchya moment when you realize that yes, they actually were.

    the overlap between creationism in the Western world, and authoritarianism leading to white supremacy is extremely tight.

    exactly like the overlap between creationism in the Middle East, and authoritarianism leading to their own thoughts of supremacy are there.

    seeing the pattern yet?

    it’s not even about religion.

    it’s about authoritarianism.

    EVERY society has this problem. EVERY society has failed to come up with a productive way of dealing with it.

    so we’re left with marginalizing authoritarians, or suffering their inane wrath of “the other”.

    thus will it always be, and it does us no good to pretend “nazis are just your confused neighbors”, because they aren’t.

  4. says

    I attend a Kent Hovind talk once, and I was shocked at the anti-semitic jokes he tossed in. So yes, I guess there was a genocidal strain in there.

  5. blf says

    … leave the eggs on the counter for a couple of days first

    <pedant>That’s more likely to work in Japan or the States rather than Europe. Japan and the States mechanically wash (most) eggs to remove Salmonella bacteria, a process which also removes the cuticle (outer protective layer) leaving the egg clean but porous. Hence refrigeration is mandatory to keep the naked egg safe. Europeans, on the other hand, vaccinate (most) chickens, so don’t need to wash the eggs, and hence do not strip them of the cuticle. No refrigeration required; i.e., it is safe to leave European eggs “on the counter for a couple of days”.</pedant>

    I’m sure the cretinists would have some other, ah, “creative”, explanation. The fascists are known to thrown punches when treated with a egg, and invoke an “explanation” blaming whoever is top of the hate list de jour.

  6. says

    Most of these creationists and their ideological ancestors were perfectly happy to let the UK genocide millions of people in India and Bangladesh, the US genocide millions of people in Vietnam and Korea, and just in general European imperial powers steal land, resources and millions upon millions of lives over the last few centuries with hardly a word of complain. Genocide is the bread and butter of “western civilization”.

  7. curbyrdogma says

    …Yep, noticed that. It seems that the GOP, Fox News & on down the line etc. have taken generous notes from the creationist playbook: Gish Gallop; projection (“I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?”); “just lie –our constituents will be too ignorant to know any better;” etc. Didn’t Ann Coulter write a book that borrowed heavily from Kent Hovind?

    I also see the “pigeon chess” metaphor is making the rounds. Deja vu…

  8. leerudolph says

    Europeans, on the other hand, vaccinate (most) chickens

    Why do they want to produce autistic chickens???

  9. Hj Hornbeck says

    I was listening to this video and thinking, “I’ve heard all this before — these are the arguments against debating creationists from 20 years ago!”

    No surprise there, the mental processes used to promote and defend falsehoods are pretty universal. It’s why believing in one conspiracy theory makes it more likely that you believe in other conspiracies, why being bigoted against one group tends to make you bigoted against multiple groups.

  10. blf says

    Speaking of mad cows and sick chickens…

    […] the naked truth has an unmarked grave
    between the waves on your radio
    and war is peace and peace is war
    and less is more and yes is no
    they want to tell you this, they want to sell you that
    and God likes guns, doves are hawks
    and Jesus walks in Idaho
    and the food we buy won’t go bad
    but the cows are mad and the chickens glow

     — Everywhere I Go, Oysterband (1995); lyrics and video.

  11. mnb0 says

    “You’re legitimizing them”.
    Incorrect argument. They already are legitimized. Geert Wilders has been in Dutch parliament for two decades, Thierry Baudet is even worse.

    “Help spread their ideas.”
    The media and the right-wing fellow travellers already do. They won’t stop if I refuse to debate them.

    Two reasons to debate fascists:
    1) let their victims know that you’re on their side;
    2) let those fascists know that you stand with their victims.

    Make sure you pick the time and place. So no, I do not advocate visiting Stormfront or whatever.
    Don’t expect them to be rational. So don’t follow the rules of logic and rationality. Rely on mockery and sarcasm. Be rude.
    If they lie call them liars.

    Pretty the same treatment I give creacrappers whenever I meet them.

  12. ikanreed says

    The thing is the fascists win if someone important debates them or if no one important debates them.

    Because when you’re the fringe, what you need is 2 things:
    1. Susceptible audiences. Public figures debating them give them an audience, a small part of that audience is going to be prone to the fallacies that underlie their “philosophy”. For the propoganda of nazis that’s feelings of vague xenophobic threat and a basic tolerance for ends justifying the means.
    2. The propagation of the sense that they have “suppressed ideas”. They can and do squeeze that out of a debate by playing the victim, but they get it even better by being unacknowledged. This is where the now-large audience of contrarian internet shut-ins became their base.

    Just like you can stop creationist bullshit from being taught at school, but you can’t make it go away because it gets perpetuated in churches, you can stop Nazism from having speaking engagements at universities, but it propagates itself in incel forums.

    When I think too long about these factors, I tend to get a little on the “Send them to re-education camps” extremist side.

  13. unclefrogy says

    the trouble with nazis is the real truth of their ideas the hate and death that is just under the surface not very far mind you but not on out front. the only good thing that can be accomplished in debating them is getting them to state in plain language. it is not ever going to be possible to change them in any debate but it is possible to get them to declare for all to see their vile intentions. of death and enslavement.
    so we can all know who and what they are because they like to use code words and euphemisms to appear like they have a legitimate respectable point of view ..
    uncle frogy

  14. mnb0 says

    The Dutch fascists of Forum for Demagogy has won 12 seats in the Senate – 1 out of 6 seats. Sure, not debating them is going to help.
    Silly video.

  15. lochaber says

    I’ve pretty much decided that “debate” is nearly worthless. It has nothing to do with who is more logical, or has more factual evidence, or is moral, and is simply about who is better at arguing in a certain framework. Not that debate skills aren’t useful skills, I just don’t find them useful for determining the worth of a given position.

    I’m not going to debate someone about which way gravity pulls.
    I’m not going to debate someone about whether the moon is made of cheese.
    I’m not going to debate someone about where the sun goes at night.
    And I’m sure as hell not going to debate someone about who gets to count as people.

  16. blf says

    Debating whether or not the Moon is made of Cheese (it is, or more accurately, it is an orbiting vault containing the stuff — just ask the mildly deranged penguin), or similar is pointless. Not because debate per se is worthless, but because of the question can be settled by hard physical evidence. Ditto for the essentially other spurious examples cited.

    However, discussing — debating — how to proportion a fixed sum for public works projects rarely has hard physical evidence. Lead reduction is important, but so is renovation / replacement of crumbling buildings, garbage collection, recycling programs, public transport, and so on. Debates on this, and on other, subjective matters needn’t be worthless or useless.

    Persuading others in a debate is a skill; no surprise the people who are unable to persuade — the Trumps, the Mays, the Putins, the Le Pens, and others — have anti-debate and/or authoritarian leanings, and prefer to insist on decrees and threats. They are bad an convincing, so they resort to insisting and demanding, and to vilifying and hatred.

    An even more difficult skill may be to persuade so effectively in a debate the matter is considered settled for some reasonable time thereafter; that is, not having to “continuously” re-debate essentially the same subject. Time and other factors will eventually mean more debates are a good idea (e.g., more funds have become available or whatever); that is, an effective persuading does not “set in stone” a resolution / course-of-actions.

    Unlike, say, whether or not there is Cheese inside the Moon.