Creationist Debate Tips from Klinghoffer

From time to time we see various creationist groups advising their faithful followers how to respond to critics. Usually their responses boil down to threats about the Lake of Fire (always a winner!), but sometimes it’s a snappy (and moronic) question, like “Were you there?”

Until today, we haven’t seen that kind of behavior from the Discoveroids, but today that gap in their creationist behavior is being plugged by David Klinghoffer — he and his creationist employer are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

Klinghoffer’s new post is On Facebook and Elsewhere, How to Talk with Darwinists. It would have to be someplace like Facebook, because they don’t allow comments at the Discoveroid blog. In what follows, Klinghoffer undoubtedly imagines that his advice is devilishly clever. He says, with bold font added by us:

If you follow us at ENV [the Discoveroids’ creationist blog], you’ve probably got a pretty good handle on the debate about evolution and intelligent design.

Yes, we’ve got a good handle on it. We know all about their wedge strategy. For a discussion of that and our overall opinion, see Enemies of the Enlightenment, and for the pathetic contents of their side of the debate, see Klinghoffer Defends the God of the Gaps. Klinghoffer continues:

But don’t think the same is true of people you interact with in other contexts. In fact, we all need to dial way, way back on what we assume about how much these folks know what we’re talking about when we talk about ID, even as they claim to understand the whole subject a lot better than we do.

Here comes Klinghoffer’s advice on dealing with those who don’t understand the great debate:

When you’re harangued by someone who bashes ID in that familiar way that mixes sneering and chortling, the first thing to do is ask him to state, in brief neutral terms, what the controversy about intelligent design is actually about. On what point do advocates of Darwinian theory and advocates of intelligent design disagree?

That’s what he wants his detractors to be asked. If a science-minded critic doesn’t know all the nonsensical details of the Discoveroids’ blather, then he’s to be dismissed as unworthy. Let’s read on:

I bet that 9 out 10 Darwinists, at least, will admit they can’t answer you or will find some way to dodge the question.

Well of course! Who, for example, would bother to master the mind-numbing labyrinth of William Dembski’s Design Inference? No one. It’s a dung heap of incomprehensible apologetics.

We’ll skip some examples of internet “debates” that Klinghoffer offers us — from Facebook of all places — and jump right to his final paragraph:

Even if you accomplish nothing else, by asking the question — “What is the Darwin debate about?” — you will find out very quickly whether, in continuing the discussion, you’re just going to be squandering scarce time that you can’t afford. Although, isn’t that what Facebook is all about?

What can we say to conclude here? The best we can do is offer some advice we’ve given before: See Debating Creationists is Dumber Than Creationism, which was updated a bit in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Opposing Creationism. And if you find yourself confronted by Klinghoffer or any other Discoveroid somewhere on the internet … well, waste your time if you like. That’s up to you.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Creationist Debate Tips from Klinghoffer

  1. docbill1351

    If you want to see how a sociopath gets along with a social media site like Facebook, just check out Klinghitler’s “page.”

    About: Nothing
    Pictures: One shot of telephone wires
    Albums: None
    Friends: None
    Wall comments: None
    Updates: None
    Timeline: Blank

    My cat has a more interesting website than Klinghitler.

    Where is Klinghitler having these fantasy discussions with “Darwinists?” Probably in his little, snake-infested mind, that’s where. Poor widdle lonely Klinghitler sits there staring at his dormant Facebook account wondering why the voices in his head don’t just STFU!

  2. On what point do advocates of Darwinian theory and advocates of intelligent design disagree?

    The question is better asked of the ID advocate, since the debate is of their own doing and is largely ignored by science as a whole. I might first ask “what the heck is Darwinian theory anyway?” Forcing an ID advocate to explain what they think modern evolutionary theory is would be amusing, since most probably have no idea or only a very distorted creationist-fed understanding of it.

    Klingliar is helpful, though with respect to ID. He lies: Very basically, [ID is] the idea that nature — life, the cosmos — gives positive scientific indications of purpose and design. Except for the misleading word “scientific”, this is the fundamental idea of religions. If there is a debate at all, it would be over the word “scientific” in Kling’s definition.

    Actually, were Klingliar on psychiatric drugs and inadvertently honest, he would have said that “ID is the idea that evidence and logic can be invented or distorted as necessary to infiltrate science classrooms in support of the objectives outlined in the wedge document.” In my opinion, that’s pretty much it. The purpose and design of the wedge document is, of course, to create a theocratic society.

  3. I actually rather love getting questions like this, because I answer in a way that makes it clear that the question is ridiculous and deserves an answer in kind. For example, anybody who asks me, “Were you there?” is immediately answered “Yes. Yes, I was and saw the whole thing.” How can they possibly say I wasn’t since, by their own logic, if they aren’t billions of years old like I am, they have no way of knowing that I wasn’t there the whole time?

    In Klinghoffer’s case, I would be blunt about it. The controversy is that people who don’t understand how evolution works keep trying to disprove it with a hypothesis that makes no positive predictions that can be tested. At which point Klinghoffer’s minion goes away and I spare a few more minutes for blogging and playing video games.

  4. Not to be too unkind but Klinghoffer’s advice reads like Joseph Goebells filtered thru the 3 Stoogies.

  5. “What is the Darwin debate about?”
    Nothing. There is no scientific debate about Darwin. You must be referring to the purely religious, creatonist arguments asserted against science.

  6. Harumph. From the post’s title, I thought we were going to get the “Checklist for Successful Creationist Debating”:
    1) Remember: This isn’t about whether ID or creationism are right or wrong. It’s about proselytizing.
    2) Keep the focus on the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution”, meaning “actual or perceived gaps in human knowledge”. (That way, it won’t be about our ID “theory”, which really doesn’t exist.)
    3) When in doubt, “Gish Gallop”.
    4) We have a plethora of definitions for every scientific term. Use whichever definition for whatever topic you’re discussing that gives you the best advantage.
    5) All exposure about ID creationism is good; good exposure is better.
    6) Keep it simple. Single syllable words are best. (Our readers lips do tend to get tired easily reading big words.)
    7) Despite the fact that we say we don’t accept “evolution”, this is nothing more than a coverterm for the fact that we don’t accept whatever science makes us uncomfortable. This means you should feel free to branch out to whatever field of science really has you angry. This has the benefit to keep your opponent always on the defensive. (Consider this an addenda to the “Gish Gallop” above.)
    8) If someone is scoring points in an online forum (such as a Facebook posting), ban them from commenting and post a response that they were being “abusive.”

  7. So the only thing that “advocates of Darwinian theory and advocates of intelligent design disagree” on is “the idea that nature — life, the cosmos — gives positive scientific indications of purpose and design.”? I didn’t think “Darwinian theory” addressed “purpose and design”. Isn’t it only concerned about what IS and how it got that way? Considering how Kaddidlehopper usually writes about Darwinian theory as being the cause of all evil in the world, I would have thought there would be more differences. If there is an “intelligent design”, shouldn’t we be blaming that instead?