I've noticed that a useful question to raise in a debate regards what evidence one's opponent would consider sufficient to cause him or her to change his or her current position. This question is good for a number of reasons.

1. It will expose anyone who says "no amount of evidence could change my mind" as someone who was never open to the possibility that he or she is wrong. In this case, debate is a waste of time.

2. It can offer direction in a debate.

3. It can expose unrealistic expectations from one side.

4. It forces us to think critically about the issue and make sure we know what could potentially falsify our own beliefs.

We could probably think of more, but here is the irony I want to point out: We've probably all heard it said by creationists that they would be convinced that evolution is true if a monkey had a human baby today (and if you haven't heard this, you probably haven't listened to enough creationists. But that's not a bad thing). However, this asinine remark results from a deep misunderstanding of what evolution entails. In fact, if a monkey had a human baby today, that would constitute evidence against evolution! I thus find it quite funny that a creationist could claim such an event could cause him or her to believe in evolution when it should cause him or her to cast serious doubt on it!

Funny, right?

Views: 18

Comment by Doug Reardon on December 31, 2009 at 10:27pm
Funny as in that's weird, not funny as in ha ha!
Comment by luvtheheaven on December 31, 2009 at 10:32pm
Well on the other side of it what would be enough Evidence to convince you that Creationism is right, or that God exists? I have not talked to enough Creationists, apparently, having never heard that monkey having a human baby line before, lol, but seriously, I don't see how it could ever be a fair "debate" since I am so sure that Evolution is right. And a hard-core creationist is resolved to ignore all evidence and not even listen or try to understand what evolution is, because it undermines the power of their God that they've devoted so much of themselves to for their whole life. Also if they're around other creationists/fundamentalists/etc. there is of course that peer pressure. So one perhaps could ask them, "if everyone in your family believed in evolution, would you?" or "if everyone in your school believed in evolution, would you?", etc.
Comment by Doug Reardon on December 31, 2009 at 10:43pm
Creationist tune out evolutionist in the same way I tune out biblical references.
Comment by Charles Kennett on January 1, 2010 at 3:57am
It's a very good question to ask. It's the other side of the coin of the falsification of a theory. JBS Haldane the famous geneticist is said to have growled the following answer to the question, "What would make you change your position on evolution?"..."Fossil rabbits in the precambrian!" In a diplomatic way, we've got to let creationists understand a central tenet of science. And that is to know what sort of data will make you change your position. If there is nothing that will do that, then you are not conducting science, or reasoning in any "scientific" way.
Comment by Charles Kennett on January 1, 2010 at 4:01am
And almost as much, I like Larry's suggestion to SHUT UP AND LISTEN. That's brilliant. In the corporate world, I've found that infinitely helpful to SHUT UP AND LISTEN, and while doing so I also try to NOT THINK OF THE NEXT THING THAT I'M GOING TO SAY WHILE I'M SHUTTING UP AND LISTENING. That strangely enough enhances the listening process, and you might actually hear what is being said.
Comment by a7 on January 1, 2010 at 9:51pm
great blog mate. I will be asking this very question


peace and puff man

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