What have I gotten myself into?

Tune in at 6:30 Central this evening to watch me throw myself on to a ferocious swarm of advocates for Islam.

There seems to be a link to join the panel out in the clear? That could be chaotic. If it actually works and you try to jump in, I expect the people on my side to be civil and non-hostile. Let’s keep it light, fun, and informative.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    01.30 Swedish time? OK no problem.
    PS There is an asshole named Zaqar Naik that is a famous internet advocate for islam. Avoid him like the plague, he is mental. A lot of those guys (because they are nearly all men) are bad-faith actors who will break their word and break the agreed upon rules for a debate. Sad but true.
    There are nicer islamic debaters around but they are hardly famous, I hope these will turn out to belong to this category…

  2. birgerjohansson says

    OK I see one of them is “Christian Prince”, he usually has good arguments (but his spoken english is even worse than mine) :-)
    Good luck.

  3. leerudolph says

    “Christian Prince” is debating in favor of the proposition that “scientific truths are revealed in the Koran”?

  4. says

    Good luck with it. I doubt I’ll be able to log in. I wouldn’t describe Zakir Naik as an asshole but many Muslims see him as an embarrassment. In fact Muslims in Singapore have had him banned because of his promotion of views they consider heretical and dangerous. The whole science in the Qur’an thing is a complete crock. The most ridiculous claim I heard came from a Pakistani biology lecturer who had a PhD from an American University. Basically she derived the whole photosynthesis cycle from verses in the Qur’an which described green plants producing grains and fruits. She received a far more enthusiastic reception than the two honours students who did some real science examining the antibacterial properties of plants used in traditional Islamic medicine. This nonsense obscures serious science done by bright, intelligent well qualified Muslim scientists.

  5. Chris J says

    I read a little bit of Kenny Bomer’s recent blog posts. His big thing recently seems to be the idea that “everything is a test.”

    Yet many see themselves as arrogantly self-sufficient. But no one is truly self-sufficient, and no one is self-reliant other than Allah. Convincing prideful and arrogant Atheists of that is a difficult task. But if they are willing to be honest with themselves, they will realize their vulnerabilities and recognize how quickly the lives of believers and non-believers alike can be changed in an instant.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Kenny views this panel as a test as well, meant to either humble the atheists with facts or humble Kenny for not relying more on Allah to guide him. This may or may not be an attitude conducive to learning and sharing.

    Question, PZ: Was the structure you agreed to one where it was just you and Kenny talking? Or was it always meant to be a panel of group vs group? I’m half-considering attempting to jump on, if only to wait patiently until I feel like I have something useful to contribute (mainly along the lines of trying to make unstated assumptions explicit), but I don’t want to feel like I’m disrupting anything.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    “Christian Prince ” is an arabic christian who debates muslims on Youtube. I doubt he is impressed by koranic embryology.

  7. robro says

    Unfortunately I’m busy doing something…or other…putting away the laundry, I think, or dumping dirt the wife’s planters. But something else, something really, really very important.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Myself @1:
    Oops, I said Zakar Naik, I meant Muhammed Hijab. My bad.
    To my defence, the weirder kind of apologists start to blur into each other.
    Hijab has not only heaped abuse on Apostate Prophet and David Wood, he has also started saying disgusting things about their wives, provoking David Wood to actually eating pages from the koran, while shouting “Is this worse than saying the wives of of enemies should be raped??!”.
    (I do not share David Wood’s world-view but in this case I understand where he is coming from. Also, never make David Wood furious with you.)

  9. JoeBuddha says

    I’m impressed. It was 98% this idiot pontificating and about 2% for the rest. Including PZ. I turned my microphone on in order to see if I could add anything, and was immediately put in my place by the monitor. It was pretty amusing all in all, but when I started to fall asleep I signed off. PZ is a SAINT for putting up with this. And not a Christian one. He didn’t even yawn! You’re a better man than I am Gunga Din.

  10. JoeBuddha says

    Oh, and let me know if they ever edged into Embryology. I didn’t hear it in a half hour; maybe I missed it.

  11. raisuli75 says

    Is English a second language to Kenny Boner? I was amazed how many scientific words he mis-pronounced..

  12. raisuli75 says

    I was also amused by the display ad at the beginning of this program offering to sell boxes of the Koran for distribution to hotels. The price for 10 boxes was exactly the same as the price for 50 boxes. Good precise mathematical work there.

  13. raisuli75 says

    Nadir seems to be playing a game talking fast and throwing out lots of information that will make his point. However, he does not seem to be able to logically follow presentations from other people. He also dominates the conversation and doesn’t give the other members of the panel sufficient time to enter in the conversation. He needs to be quiet.

  14. mathman85 says

    I feel compelled to offer my compliments to our esteemed host. There’s no way that I could muster sufficient patience to endure this nonsense for anywhere near as long as he has.

  15. raisuli75 says

    One last comment. Where did the woman go? Why was her voice cut out completely by all of these men talking and talking and talking?

  16. raven says

    Nadir seems to be playing a game talking fast and throwing out lots of information that will make his point.

    That is a well known tactic of creationists and other crackpots.
    It has a name, the Gish Gallop.

  17. wzrd1 says

    Yeah, Nadir uses a Gish Gallop.
    I have an inverse version, where I address the various points in depth, while speaking quite rapidly, out of concern for the listeners, whose eyes rapidly glaze over.
    The disparate, untruth ridden arguments being a serious Islamic crime of fitna. Creator is truth, any obfuscation of the truth is preventing listeners from hearing the truth, which is as forbidden as blocking from the Hajj.
    Then, jumps to nirvana fallacy, science was wrong, giving a magical and unverifiable number of times, blather means reality is science has no clue. Bring back smallpox and polio in Africa, because something might’ve been wrong.
    At 51 minutes, I’ve ran out of patience. I’ve never suffered fools well at all.

  18. ajbjasus says

    “ Averse without error”

    “Bees eat fruit and produce a drink of many colours”

    Enough said

  19. John Morales says

    Well, that was painful (psychically) to try to watch.

    Sped up and zotted a lot, but I still gave up well before the end.

    My impression was that they wanted a concession (any concession) on however trivial a point.

  20. Rich Woods says

    I gave up after 20 minutes. The claim that the Qu’ran must be divinely inspired because a desert people could never know that the deep ocean was lacking in light showed particular ignorance. By that argument, the line in Ovid’s Metamorphoses about ‘the ocean’s dark abyss’, which pre-dates Islam by six centuries, proves that Neptune exists.

  21. grandolddeity says

    The opening monologue/prayer preceding a partisan sales pitch cast a bad light on the intentions of the hosts. Lot’s ‘O Smiles, though. I thought the female got a little saucy when she slightly adjusted her head covering to show a little hair line. PZ’s background looked familiar even though the host made it sound like PZ was at the ‘studio’. And somebody ‘colorized’ PZ. He looked healthy!

    I saw no intention of willingness to receive anything by the host. Pure apologetics and evangelism.