Thursday, October 15, 2009
I while ago I posted about the aftermath of the New Orleans Word of God conference, and various actions by the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association that could be interpreted as indications that they are not serious about a debate with a well-prepared proponent of a different perspective.
Apparently this is not a unique phenomena within the neo-atheist movement. It now comes to light that Richard Dawkins, über-atheist across the pond, is refusing to debate Stephen Meyer, a philosopher of science who has recently published a major contribution to origins research called Signature in the Cell. This is not the first time Dawkins has refused to debate. Christian apologist D'nesh D'Souza long ago issued a standing invitation to debate with him, but was refused. Eventually Dawkins accepted--but just once, and it was only covered by Al-Jazeera, ensuring that no one in the Western world would see it.
Why won't Dawkins debate Stephen Meyer. He says he won't debate "creationists" because it gives them "respectability" they don't deserve.
Stephen Meyer is not a "creationist," a term commonly reserved for those who believe in a young earth and a literal six-day creation. Dawkins knows this, but is engaging in name-calling.
Secondly, when you trounce someone in a debate, it humiliates them, not lends them respectability. Folks only gain respectability in a debate when they win or at least hold their own.
Therefore, what Dawkins means is, he won't debate Meyer because he thinks Meyer will win the debate or at least do well.