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You can't possibly know what effect my writing has on 'them', other than 'them' that reply. And isn't your reply ridiculing me when you say "albeit standard"? Of course it is. So who do you mean to convince that my words are 'standard'? Me, or other readers?

I meant your approach is the consensus amongst most scientific types ...here anyway. No ridicule was implied towards you, or anyone else, by me. It's not my style and, besides, I wouldn't want someone calling out "Pot...Kettle..." now would I? :)

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When I was a grad student, I was TA'ing introductory evolution and I had a student who was a theology major and a creationist. She told me that she was taking the evolution class to better understand

You claim to be an intelligent man but you don't even give a straight answer, you leave us flooded with evidence with no result. Your evidence that creationism is stupid is from a stereotype, you have

Hi TAR   I'm no Moontanman, but I must reply here. A long time ago and close close nearby I was studying geology as an adjunct to other coursework. While not required, I took some additional classe

I meant your approach is the consensus amongst most scientific types ...here anyway. No ridicule was implied towards you, or anyone else, by me. It's not my style and, besides, I wouldn't want someone calling out "Pot...Kettle..." now would I? :)

:) OK The quotation marks were ambiguous in intent so I will take you at your word. Likewise, I will take you at your word that you're no kettle as I don't know you well enough yet to judge.

 

I see you didn't address the issue of your evaluation of what readers think of my writing, or to the bigger point here of whether or not ridicule is or can be an effective tool in swaying peoples' beliefs. (In particular the creationist cadre.) Do you concede my assertion that you have no basis to judge the effectiveness of my -or any- ridicule in changing minds of folks who don't reply to the ridicule?

 

I have made a number of assertions that ridicule is an effective teaching device -in some instances of course- based on anecdotal historical facts in evidence. I'll do due diligence and see if I can find some studies on the issue.

 

Meantime, how's things going with you and your lady friend Moontan? Anything here been helpful? Talked to her again yet? Enquiring minds want to know.

 

 

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I see you didn't address the issue of your evaluation of what readers think of my writing, or to the bigger point here of whether or not ridicule is or can be an effective tool in swaying peoples' beliefs. (In particular the creationist cadre.) Do you concede my assertion that you have no basis to judge the effectiveness of my -or any- ridicule in changing minds of folks who don't reply to the ridicule?

 

I have made a number of assertions that ridicule is an effective teaching device -in some instances of course- based on anecdotal historical facts in evidence. I'll do due diligence and see if I can find some studies on the issue.

Your arguments are fine in the sense that they agree with most scientific types. Yes I'll concede the point that I don't know in practice but I'm with chadn737 based on my 52 years of exposure to human nature on this that it's not a good strategy for the general religious populace. This is one of the few times I find myself in disagreement with the scientific attitude.

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...

I have made a number of assertions that ridicule is an effective teaching device -in some instances of course- based on anecdotal historical facts in evidence. I'll do due diligence and see if I can find some studies on the issue.

...

That didn't take long. Searching "study on ridicule as effective" I went to the first result of ...well...many. I'll quote judiciously and leave it to the interested reader to follow up. While not quoted here, good ol' Ben gets due acknowledgement for his effective use of ridicule.

 

www.iwp.edu/docLib/20060209_RidiculeasaWeapon2.2.1.pdf

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY WHITE PAPER NO. 7

Ridicule as a Weapon

 

Ridicule raises morale at home.

Ridicule strips the enemy/adversary of his mystique and prestige.

Ridicule erodes the enemys claim to justice

Ridicule eliminates the enemys image of invincibility.

Directed properly at an enemy, ridicule can be a fate worse than death

...

Conclusion

Ridicule is vital because:

It sticks.

The target cant refute it.

It is almost impossible to repress, even if driven underground.

It spreads on its own and multiplies naturally.

It boosts morale at home.

Our enemy shows far greater intolerance to ridicule than we.

Ridicule divides the enemy, damages its morale, and makes it less attractive to supporters and prospective recruits.

The ridicule-armed warrior need not fix a physical sight on the target. Ridicule will find its own way to the targeted individual. To the enemy, being ridiculed means losing respect. It means losing influence. It means losing followers and repelling potential new backers.

To the enemy, ridicule can be worse than death. At least many enemies find death to be a supernatural martyrdom. Ridicule is much worse: destruction without martyrdom: A fate worse than death. And they have to live with it.

It gets better with each re-telling.

 

This document is an occasional White Paper of a special international communication applied studies program of The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036 USA. www.iwp.edu The Institute takes no positions on policy issues, and the views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author. Copyright © 2006

So in conclusion, those who disagree with me are a bunch of poopy heads. lol :P

Your arguments are fine in the sense that they agree with most scientific types. Yes I'll concede the point that I don't know in practice but I'm with chadn737 based on my 52 years of exposure to human nature on this that it's not a good strategy for the general religious populace. This is one of the few times I find myself in disagreement with the scientific attitude.

Most scientific types? What would that be? Appeal to age? I'm older than you. Not a good strategy? See above. :)

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Your arguments are fine in the sense that they agree with most scientific types. Yes I'll concede the point that I don't know in practice but I'm with chadn737 based on my 52 years of exposure to human nature on this that it's not a good strategy for the general religious populace. This is one of the few times I find myself in disagreement with the scientific attitude.

I wouldn't call that a scientific attitude. It's an attitude that is common among people of a scientific bent, but that doesn't make the attitude itself scientific.
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I feel I'm a bit confused. Are we talking about ridiculing people holding ideas, or the ideas themselves? Sometimes it seems someone is talking about one and someone else is talking about the other.

 

Also, is honestly saying what a belief entails ridiculing? Because that is what most of the animosity towards Creationism I witness (biases acknowledged) is

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It really depends upon whether your objective is to convert the object of the ridicule, or to convert the bystanders. (And sometimes the object, frankly, seems to be ridicule itself.)

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I think ridicule works but not against creationism and many religious arguments. Creationists have become adept at side-stepping concrete reality and ridicule is a tool of rational thinking.

 

It may be possible to use it on specific points with a creationist, such as the maths vs magic arguments, but you MUST make sure you're not perceived as attacking their faith as a whole. Ridicule should be a scalpel, not a club. And it doesn't have to be malicious; good friends can ridicule lightheartedly with impressive results.

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I think this has idea of believing in evolution equals atheism has been represented falsely. In fact I have never heard this assertion from a scientist. From Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, to Aron Ra the constant assertion is exactly the opposite. On the TV show the Atheist Experience the constant theme is that evolution does not equal atheism. The constant equation of atheism with evolution is in fact a creationist meme, started by the creation movement and the numbers show it to be wrong. Most people who accept evolution are christian and there are many more non christian creationists that accept creation although they believe in other gods or pantheons of gods.

 

Evolution=atheism is a creationist meme, asserted by the creation movement as a satanic conspiracy to prey on the fears of people who don't understand science much like the evolution is only a theory meme it's nothing but bald faced lies used by the purveyors of creationism to bilk believers out of money.

 

It's no accident that the main promoters of creationism are millionaires living a lavish life style off the tithes of their followers...

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Rather than quote folks and reply to each specifically I'll just round up some generalized commentary.

 

First, I keep seeing the claim that ridicule only works on intellectuals and I question the validity of that claim. Based on what do y'all make it?

 

Second, assuming it is true then by-and-large the creationists at least consider themselves intellectual insofar as they study the Bible, have taken a tack to rename their belief as intelligent design, and make specific arguments against scientific discoveries. In the specific case of Moontan's lady friend, since she is pursuing a Phd then we ought to allow she is an intellectual if not thinks so herself and so ridicule is well applied.

 

Yes ridicule is not always the best tool and yes it is not everyones' style. That does not discount that those well skilled can use it to good effect. Discounting it whole-cloth is ridiculous.

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I this has idea of believing in evolution equals atheism has been represented falsely. In fact I have never heard this assertion from a scientist. From Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, to Aron Ra the constant assertion is exactly the opposite..

 

IIRC, PZ Myers does hold the position that scientific thought = atheism. But I don't know if that would necessarily equate to evolution = atheism.

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I have been talking to an old friend of mine who is working on her PHD, , I would say she is a rather intelligent person, reasonably down to earth with no obvious crazy showing through.

 

This particular conversation started with the Ken Ham Bill Nye debate, she watched it live and i was surprised she had an interest in the debate. She was sure Ken Ham won the debate and I of course was sure Bill Nye gave the best account of the night.

 

I asked her why she thought Bill had lost and he answer took me by surprise, she is a creationist and is sure anyone who accepts evolution is being fooled. She said evolution is a lie and made up by scientists

 

I pointed out that evolution is the the best explanation for biodiversity and it is extremely well supported by evidence. She started quoting the usual creationist prattle about the pigs tooth and piltdown man and so forth. I was trying to handle this with kid gloves because she is a friend and i didn't want to come across as insulting.

 

She told me that evolution is a lie made up by the devil and that fossils are all fake yada yada yada but the most stunning thing she said is that scientists meet every few years to make up new lies to support evolution. What is being taught in churches? If fundamentalism can entrap the mind of an intelligent adult what effects is it having on children?

 

When I pointed out that to accept evolution is not the same as atheism she was adamant that science is atheistic and that no Christian could possibly accept evolution and that science is a conspiracy. Now remember this is coming from one who is close to getting a PHD.

 

I tried my best to assure her that evolution and atheism are different things and that many if not most Christians accept evolution as the best explanation of biodiversity. I asked her if the story of Noah's ark was true and she unequivocally said yes it was, that every word in the bible was true and accurate.

 

I pointed out genetics and how it supports evolution but she stuck with the scientific conspiracy idea and quoted that evolution was just a theory. when I pointed out what a theory was in science she dismissed my explanation completely claiming there were no fossils, they were made up or faked.

 

I was stunned, this woman is very intelligent, to talk to her you would never guess she would believe this stuff, Ken Ham is one of her heroes.

 

I finally asked what field she was working on her PHD in and she said... Christian counseling... my mind was blown, no amount of talk could convince her there was any evidence supporting evolution and that things like Noah's ark were real.

 

Our society is in trouble if this is spreading and i think it is spreading through people like Ken Ham and others.

 

How do you deal with people like this? She will have a PHD and will be in a very influential position at some point, her personality is very personable and i have no doubt she will be a very convincing Christian councilor.

 

she was convinced that if i just opened my heart to Jesus that i would see the light and is organizing a prayer chain for me. How can intelligent people be fooled so easily?

 

This is very disturbing to me, how can such people be countered?

You claim to be an intelligent man but you don't even give a straight answer, you leave us flooded with evidence with no result. Your evidence that creationism is stupid is from a stereotype, you haven't given other creationists a chance to have their say. You use phrases like 'no obvious crazy showing through' showing us once again that you are someone who likes to stereotype. How do you deal with creationists? Shouldn't the scientist say it's the creationists that he's met and not every one, that's a very imprecise argument if not-- you're slacking.

Edited by s1eep
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You claim to be an intelligent man but you don't even give a straight answer, you leave us flooded with evidence with no result. Your evidence that creationism is stupid is from a stereotype, you haven't given other creationists a chance to have their say. You use phrases like 'no obvious crazy showing through' showing us once again that you are someone who likes to stereotype. How do you deal with creationists? Shouldn't the scientist say it's the creationists that he's met and not every one, that's a very imprecise argument if not-- you're slacking.

Creationists -all creationists- reject scientific discoveries that they perceive to be in conflict with their holy book(s), principally the Bible.

 

Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/creationist

 

That isn't a stereotype, that is a definition.

 

The rejection of currently demonstrable facts in favor of non-demonstrable beliefs based on writings that are 1000's of years old and of questionable/debatable origins is ridiculous, silly, pathetic, laughable, ludicrous, preposterous, idiotic, absurd, and otherwise farcical by all measures of those words and their synonyms. Creationists would cut off their own noses to spite their faces. While simply holding a creationist belief is in-and-of itself rather harmless, those who set about to have their views supplant science in public projects and law are a harmful detriment to society and worthy of all lawful efforts that oppose them.

 

What's it been; almost 90 years since the Scopes trial? And we're still dealing with this kind of idiocy. Good grief.

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Creationists -all creationists- reject scientific discoveries that they perceive to be in conflict with their holy book(s), principally the Bible.

 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/creationist

 

That isn't a stereotype, that is a definition.

 

The rejection of currently demonstrable facts in favor of non-demonstrable beliefs based on writings that are 1000's of years old and of questionable/debatable origins is ridiculous, silly, pathetic, laughable, ludicrous, preposterous, idiotic, absurd, and otherwise farcical by all measures of those words and their synonyms. Creationists would cut off their own noses to spite their faces. While simply holding a creationist belief is in-and-of itself rather harmless, those who set about to have their views supplant science in public projects and law are a harmful detriment to society and worthy of all lawful efforts that oppose them.

 

What's it been; almost 90 years since the Scopes trial? And we're still dealing with this kind of idiocy. Good grief.

"Creationists are crazy" would be a stereotype; people with 'no obvious crazy showing through' is basically a witty way of saying I've met some crazy people, and I imagine he thinks some of the creationists are this crazy he spoke of. I bet he is not qualified to diagnose crazy in someone. What is his diagnosis based on? Nothing? Preferences? There should be nothing in the way if we are being scientific, we should be tackling creationists properly. I have ideas about a creator unlike any God written in the bible and realer than any of them, and I don't reject scientific discoveries.

 

Quick Creationist Idea That Doesn't Conflict With Science: What if outside the vacuum that our universe is in was infinity?

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First, I keep seeing the claim that ridicule only works on intellectuals and I question the validity of that claim. Based on what do y'all make it?

There's your problem, you're seeing things that aren't there.

 

My claim, at least, was that ridicule works best against arguments that are arrived at intellectually rather than emotionally. I don't claim it's the best tool to use, I don't claim it works against all such arguments and I have no idea what an intellectual is, since all people are capable of both emotional and intellectual reasoning.

 

 

You claim to be an intelligent man but you don't even give a straight answer, you leave us flooded with evidence with no result. Your evidence that creationism is stupid is from a stereotype, you haven't given other creationists a chance to have their say. You use phrases like 'no obvious crazy showing through' showing us once again that you are someone who likes to stereotype. How do you deal with creationists? Shouldn't the scientist say it's the creationists that he's met and not every one, that's a very imprecise argument if not-- you're slacking.

Creationism isn't like a nationality or a profession or a hair color. It's a distortion of facts, a premeditated intellectual dishonesty that has stooped to some devious and distinctly un-Christian methods to misrepresent science and claim Bible inerrancy. I think anyone who has only listened to the creationist argument might stand a chance of removing their ignorance, but for those who have heard the science and still claim to be creationists, still use the same BS arguments and refuted evidence, and still tell outright lies about science, those kinds of creationists are a pox on society.

 

Fanatics with ears they've plugged with their own opposable thumbs.

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There's your problem, you're seeing things that aren't there.

Re-reading the thread I see I saw it just once. Apparently it stuck.

 

That's ok, but most people are not intellectual so it's not going to be a very effective tool in significantly altering the global or national statistics in favour of a scientifically held viewpoint. It merely serves as possible amusement for some of the scientifically-literate bystanders.

 

A perfect example of an intellectual for which such a device would work ...he's not representative of the vast majority of people.

My claim, at least, was that ridicule works best against arguments that are arrived at intellectually rather than emotionally. I don't claim it's the best tool to use, I don't claim it works against all such arguments and I have no idea what an intellectual is, since all people are capable of both emotional and intellectual reasoning.

 

Creationism isn't like a nationality or a profession or a hair color. It's a distortion of facts, a premeditated intellectual dishonesty that has stooped to some devious and distinctly un-Christian methods to misrepresent science and claim Bible inerrancy. I think anyone who has only listened to the creationist argument might stand a chance of removing their ignorance, but for those who have heard the science and still claim to be creationists, still use the same BS arguments and refuted evidence, and still tell outright lies about science, those kinds of creationists are a pox on society.

 

Fanatics with ears they've plugged with their own opposable thumbs.

Whatever other mentions of intellectuals I thought I saw and meant to address with my comment you quoted, they were not yours. On the contrary, I find your posts most agreeable and perceptive. Carry on. :)

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The folks who listen to creationism get drawn in by appealing misinformation, and they end up equating this untenable stance with their whole belief system. That's when it becomes an argument from emotion, and too often a stance like that become more rigid the more facts and evidence you produce. We argue against a very specific set of misinformation and suddenly they think we're telling them their belief in God is stupid.

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snip...

 

Creationism isn't like a nationality or a profession or a hair color. It's a distortion of facts, a premeditated intellectual dishonesty that has stooped to some devious and distinctly un-Christian methods to misrepresent science and claim Bible inerrancy. I think anyone who has only listened to the creationist argument might stand a chance of removing their ignorance, but for those who have heard the science and still claim to be creationists, still use the same BS arguments and refuted evidence, and still tell outright lies about science, those kinds of creationists are a pox on society.

 

Fanatics with ears they've plugged with their own opposable thumbs.

Then there is the matter of creationists misrepresenting -or if generous, misunderstanding- the inerrancy of the Bible in regards to history as well as science. Specifically that the story of Noah is a hatchet job lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Fantastic distortionists from the git-go. To whit, Tablet XI.

 

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab11.htm

...

Whatever I had I loaded on it:

whatever silver I had I loaded on it,

whatever gold I had I loaded on it.

All the living beings that I had I loaded on it,

I had all my kith and kin go up into the boat,

all the beasts and animals of the field and the craftsmen I

had go up.

Shamash had set a stated time:

'In the morning I will let loaves of bread shower down,

and in the evening a rain of wheat!

Go inside the boat, seal the entry!'

...

Stunned shock over Adad's deeds overtook the heavens,

and turned to blackness all that had been light.

The... land shattered like a... pot.

All day long the South Wind blew ...,

blowing fast, submerging the mountain in water,

overwhelming the people like an attack.

No one could see his fellow,

they could not recognize each other in the torrent.

The gods were frightened by the Flood,

and retreated, ascending to the heaven of Anu.

The gods were cowering like dogs, crouching by the outer wall.

Ishtar shrieked like a woman in childbirth,

the sweet-voiced Mistress of the Gods wailed:

...

I looked around for coastlines in the expanse of the sea,

and at twelve leagues there emerged a region (of land).

On Mt. Nimush the boat lodged firm,

Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway.

One day and a second Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing

no sway.

A third day, a fourth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing

no sway.

A fifth day, a sixth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing

no sway.

When a seventh day arrived

I sent forth a dove and released it.

The dove went off, but came back to me;

no perch was visible so it circled back to me.

I sent forth a swallow and released it.

The swallow went off, but came back to me;

no perch was visible so it circled back to me.

I sent forth a raven and released it.

The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back.

It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me

...

Clip clip here, clip clip there,

We give the roughest claws,

That certain air of savoir faire

In the Merry Old Land of Oz

Ha!

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You can't possibly know what effect my writing has on 'them', other than 'them' that reply. And isn't your reply ridiculing me when you say "albeit standard"? Of course it is. So who do you mean to convince that my words are 'standard'? Me, or other readers?

No, I think he was just ridiculing your approach. Since you think ridicule has such a time-honoured reputation then I'm sure you will welcome his remarks.

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You can't possibly know what effect my writing has on 'them', other than 'them' that reply. And isn't your reply ridiculing me when you say "albeit standard"? Of course it is. So who do you mean to convince that my words are 'standard'? Me, or other readers?

No, I think he was just ridiculing your approach. Since you think ridicule has such a time-honoured reputation then I'm sure you will welcome his remarks.

 

Mmmmmm...well StringJunky said in response to me that ridicule wasn't his style.

 

I meant your approach is the consensus amongst most scientific types ...here anyway. No ridicule was implied towards you, or anyone else, by me. It's not my style and, besides, I wouldn't want someone calling out "Pot...Kettle..." now would I? :)

In regards to my thinking on ridicule I have at least given supporting evidence for its time honoring. But nevertheless you are correct and I do enjoy a well turned barb even when directed at moi or my approach. Let me know when you come up with one. :)

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Mmmmmm...well StringJunky said in response to me that ridicule wasn't his style.

 

 

In regards to my thinking on ridicule I have at least given supporting evidence for its time honoring. But nevertheless you are correct and I do enjoy a well turned barb even when directed at moi or my approach. Let me know when you come up with one. :)

 

"Time honoring" = "Appeal to Tradition".

 

Just because there is a long tradition of something does not make it reasonable, good, or right.

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"Time honoring" = "Appeal to Tradition".

 

Just because there is a long tradition of something does not make it reasonable, good, or right.

And just because you disagree does not make it unreasonable, bad, or wrong. (post hoc ergo propter hoc?) I have at least searched out & posted a supporting reference for my position on ridicule. You for your position; not. I have also sought out & posted a supporting reference contradicting the belief in Bible inerrancy. You to support it; not. :)

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And just because you disagree does not make it unreasonable, bad, or wrong. (post hoc ergo propter hoc?) I have at least searched out & posted a supporting reference for my position on ridicule. You for your position; not. I have also sought out & posted a supporting reference contradicting the belief in Bible inerrancy. You to support it; not. :)

 

I never said it was so because "I say so". I actually listed off many reasons why this approach is bad and does not work, so I have presented a logical argument that can be evaluated on its own right and "not because I say so. If you are going to accuse me of a fallacy, make sure its relevant first. Secondly, just because you can post a reference, doesn't make your argument less fallacious. You are still resorting to an appeal to tradition.

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I never said it was so because "I say so". I actually listed off many reasons why this approach is bad and does not work, so I have presented a logical argument that can be evaluated on its own right and "not because I say so. If you are going to accuse me of a fallacy, make sure its relevant first. Secondly, just because you can post a reference, doesn't make your argument less fallacious. You are still resorting to an appeal to tradition.

Perhaps you can review your arguments/reasons? I don't recall anything other than anecdotes from your personal experience. If you mean to discount my reference -which is contemporary- then you need to address specifics in it that you discount. Then too, I reiterate that you et all have no basis to judge the effectiveness of ridicule on those who do not report on their response.

 

While I don't discount that ridicule may not be effective for changing the mind of an individual it is directed at, the effectiveness of ridicule is best realized when it is delivered publically to a wide audience. The more people disposed to embracing some ideal or belief who see that ideal/belief and its proponents ridiculed, the more likely they are to rethink their position.

 

Care to address/counter any specifics for my reference on ridicule or the reference on erroneous believer-attribution for the story of Noah?

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