The Intersection

Call me crazy, but I’ve agreed to appear at 1 pm ET, for half an hour, on the Bob Dutko Show. Here is how it’s described on the show’s website:

In addition to interviews, the show offers up a steady stream of faith building information and apologetics. In addition to faith in Jesus Christ, Bob often presents evidence showing that belief in the Bible, Jesus, His death and resurrection can be backed up historically, logically and intellectually. All other religious beliefs crumble under scrutiny, yet Christianity stands firm with Jesus Christ alone as the one and only true means by which we are saved. In addition to the evidence for Jesus, Bob fiercely defends the unborn against the abortion industry, traditional values against the homosexual agenda, scientific evidence for Biblical Creation against evolution, our nation’s Christian heritage against the anti-God movement, our culture against secular humanism and the Church against the dangers of postmodern pluralism.

Why am I appearing on such a show? Well, curiosity, mainly. I have no idea what it will be like, and I may well be sorry. But I don’t talk enough to this part of America, and today, at least I’m going to try. Wish me luck.


  1. #1 Mark Paris
    January 30, 2006

    I suspect you will need luck. Most people like that are immune to logic or facts. But maybe he will be one of the rare fundamentalists who actually practice what their religion preaches.

  2. #2 Ericnh
    January 30, 2006

    We’ll all be “praying” for you!

  3. #3 Gerardo Camilo
    January 30, 2006

    I’ll light up a candle and pull out my vudu dolls, because facts, data, logic and reason are worthless in this case.

  4. #4 Chris Mooney
    January 30, 2006

    Thanks for your support, folks. I will try to argue that evolution and religious belief are compatible. We will see where that gets me.

  5. #5 Jon Winsor
    January 30, 2006

    Wow. Kudos for bravery. We’ll have to see how this goes.

  6. #6 cpg
    January 30, 2006

    I’m glad somebody is doing it — also glad it’s not me. Go get ’em.

  7. #7 Fennec
    January 30, 2006

    Sounds fun. I trust you’ll try your best to be tolerant and understanding of their point of view and all those other nice things… it makes people far more willing to listen. 🙂

  8. #8 Chris Mooney
    January 30, 2006

    Thanks, Fennec. The fire breathing won’t come from my side on this interview, I assure you.

  9. #9 J-Dog
    January 30, 2006

    You should have some great stories to tell afterwords…

    Be sure to blog about it ASAP!

  10. #10 DavidC
    January 30, 2006

    Chris – you are doing great so far!

  11. #11 Jim H
    January 30, 2006

    Sounds like the host is going to focus on Stem Cell research the whole time – I’m sure the war on science is more than a single talking point.

  12. #12 Harris Contos
    January 30, 2006

    I don’t mean to cast religious people in a negative light, but there is the saying “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” I think it’s important to engage the ardently faith-based on their own turf now and then, not so much to learn anything from their viewpoints, but to learn why they believe as they do, and how they construct and present their arguments, even though in all likelihood it will require considerable courage and fortitude to “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous” logic. Good luck, and thumbs up.

  13. #13 James Hrynyshyn
    January 30, 2006

    An exercise in futulity, I’m afraid. Dutko’s audience is not amenable to reasonable persuasion. It may even be that appearing on the show actually enhances their bias, thanks to Dutko’s oppressive and dishonest interview style.

  14. #14 Jim H
    January 30, 2006

    I listened for about a 1/2 hour. I thought Chris shut him down pretty well, especially when you consider the advantages the host always has in these situations, leading the questions and “potting” down the other speaker when he doesn’t like what he’s hearing or he wants to talk over the top of him.

  15. #15 Ollie
    January 30, 2006

    Good job, from what I heard between 1313 and 1335. I got the impression that Dutko’s arguement was that there was no distinction between pro-warming and peer review groups. Is that about right? He seems to think it’s some huge conspiracy.

  16. #16 DavidC
    January 30, 2006

    Chris, Good job. I thought you kept your composure very well despite the stubborn host (but nobody expected him to be otherwise). At least he was gracious compared to O’Reilly, et al. I think that it is instructive to note how much the peer-review literature is looked upon by much of the general public as a “boy’s club”. As scientists we are prone to use the “it’s in the literature” argument assuming that everyone will immediately understand. I think it is important to point out how contrary views do become published and how important it is to have these views available to become focal points for argument and further research.

  17. #17 Pharma Bawd
    January 30, 2006

    Nice job!

    You kept him on track several times, when he wanted to bring up a red herring.

    Nice job on the GW thing. I really didn’t get his “mankind is contributing to GW but not “causing” it” position. It’s kind of like: Gee officer, my drinking contributed to me running the red light but it didn?t cause me to run the red light. Can’t you let me off on the DWI?”

    When he accused you of making a bogus argument and not looking at all the evidence, only taking selected evidence from people on your side of the issue…

    Jeeze! Talk about projection!

  18. #18 Victor
    January 30, 2006

    Man, the ridicule you have for us faith-nuts! That’s alright, we are used to it.

    I listened to the show, and that’s why I am here. Chris, you were very level-headed and I enjoyed your part in the discussion. And that’s why I am here. I actually intened to read your book, and that solely because of your handling of the interview.

    To Mr. Hrynyshyn: What is your experience with Bob’s show that you say he has “oppressive and dishonest interview style”? These are strong words. Are you willing to back them up? I’ve been listening to his show for the past 3 years since I can listen to the radio at work and 103.5 FM is what I have on. Granted, you will probably call me biased, but I believe your claim is false and prejudiced. You may have had a bad interview with him where he challenged you and your inability to present a strong argument made you “look bad”, and that’s why you are upset with him. Is this what happened? Because my experience with his shows is that he does what he preaches, i.e. he brings people on the show who share an opposing view and then tries to debate with them. AND many times he brings people for a discussion and then apparently gets a lot of mail upset with him for NOT debating. Heard this discussions with my own ears. Now, if he gets a bit riled up when people present skewed info, who is to blame him? Don’t we all? Now, whether he is right or wrong to think that the info is skewed, that’s up for discussion. In my experience, he is very knowledgeble on a lot of topics and has a lot of backup info that one can check for him/her self. Now, if he is a very strong debater and feels strongly about his facts and overpowers you in a debate, is he to blame?

    Mr. Hrynyshyn, I do not know where you are coming from, and you chose not to elaborate in your post, but I disagree with you.

    And I have a open question to Chris, do you feel that Bob displayed an “oppressive and dishonest interview style” with you?

    Now, in case you think I am some right-wing hack, you are wrong. My source of news is not FOXNEWS, even though I go there for headline news (just my choice), and do not spend much time reading opinions there. My news sources actually tend to be left-leaning for I find no interest in reading what I like. I hear that from Mr. Dutko. 🙂 And I am well aware of the issues on the left, and frankly some of them worry me as well. Ultimately, I am in a quest for truth regardless of whether I will like what I find or not.

    To Chris: Please post your comments on the interview, I look forward to them.

    At this time I am not prepared to discuss Chris’ book, but look forward to reading it.

  19. #19 Corkscrew
    January 30, 2006

    Is there an audio file of this available? I’d be really interested to hear it.

  20. #20 Chris Mooney
    January 30, 2006

    I didn’t think it was “oppressive and dishonest,” but I do think that the arguments presented to counter the mainstream scientific view on global warming were very weak.

  21. #21 Victor
    January 30, 2006

    Thank you Chris. I am not in position to judge about the strength of his arguments, since GW is not on my list of priorities (I’m just much more concerned about developments in world politics, economy, culture that seem to have a more immediate effect, and have not paid much attention to GW). I did feel that he could have done a better job. Ultimately, the best way would have been to read your book, know exactly where you stand, and then address your positions. You have to know your opposition in order to fight it effectively, and I do not think he did.

    Chris, thank you for appearing on the show.

  22. #22 James Hrynyshyn
    January 30, 2006

    You’re being polite, Chris. As for Victor — Chris’s interview was subject to exactly the oppressive and dishonest style was expecting. Consider that fact that Dutoko had the audacity to bring up the Oregon petition as one of about five items of alleged “fact” raised in rapid-fire to overwhelm Chris without leaving time for meaningful response.

    First, in my book — I have a degree in journalism and professional training in interviewing techniques — that’s not a civilized way to conduct an interview — it’s oppressive. Second, anyone with a smattering of knowledge about so-called climate change skeptics knows that the petition the Oregon petition is disenguous propaganda at best, and likely closer to outright fraud. If Dutko doesn’t know that, he hasn’t done his research, and should know better.

  23. #23 Victor
    January 30, 2006

    I hereby take an issue with Mr. Hrynyshyn’s opinion that Mr. Dutko practices “oppressive and dishonest interview style”. Chris, I appologize for dragging you into this.

    Chris, Mr. Hrynyshyn says you are being polite in your earlier post. Now, I do not know whether you are or not. But I urge to state your opinion of the interview again. Please DO NOT be polite if you were polite. If you agree with Mr. Hrynyshyn, I would love to hear it.

    Here is the reason for this request. If you were just polite in the earlier post, and you do share Mr. Hrynyshyn sentiment, then after reading your reasons for that, I will pay more attention to the style of Mr. Dutko in the future and will be sure to call him on the carpet when he uses the tactics that damage his credibility. (As an added bonus, I will not dwell on this any more). On the other hand, if you confirm your earlier post, than, in my opinion, Mr. Hrynyshyn has displayed an unfair assessment of a talk show who presents an opposing view.

    I do not seek to be right in this case. And, frankly, being wrong will do me more good. So, I humbly request your honest opinion of the treatment you have received at the interview earlier today.

  24. #24 Chris Mooney
    January 30, 2006

    Victor, you’re overdoing it. James is entitled to his view, and I to mine. I wouldn’t use the terms he used. I did think that the global warming stuff presented by the host was very misleading.

  25. #25 David Wilford
    January 30, 2006

    “I will try to argue that evolution and religious belief are compatible. We will see where that gets me.”

    Well, SOME religious beliefs are incompatible with evolution, specifically any religion claiming the Earth is only 6000 years old or that we do not share a common ancestry with other primates. I missed hearing you on air, but did the subject of creationism come up at all, and/or was the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case brought up?

  26. #26 Victor
    January 30, 2006

    Chris, I may be overdoing it. And yes, Mr. Hrynyshyn is entitled to his opinion, and I am entitled to mine.

    I just do not apprecaite the flogging language used by him. And I believe in this case you are the only one who can give an accurate assessment of the interview since you are the one who was involved and not Mr. Hrynyshyn or I.

    As to the facts on GW, I cannot discuss them now as I am in no way qualified. However, this has spiked my interest in the topic.

  27. #27 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2006

    I can’t believe I’m the first to respond to your straight line: OK, you’re crazy.

    Still, I want some streaming audio or a podcast of this show.

  28. #28 Chris Mooney
    January 30, 2006

    From the website, I do not see any archived audio available I’m afraid…..

  29. #29 Victor
    January 30, 2006

    PZ Myers,

    I do not think WMUZ has any archives available over the Net. I’ve never heard of it. It’s been a solely FM station for years, and the streaming feature on their site went up only within the last 1-2 months. But I do know for a fact that all the shows are recorded. Your best bet is to contact the show host directly and ask if it’s possible. Again, I have never heard anybody ask for it or such availability discussed on the air. Maybe Chris can get a copy since he was the one involved?

  30. #30 DavidC
    January 30, 2006

    David Wilford, only the topics of stem cell research and global warming (or climate change) came up. I thought that Chris did a good job of deflecting the stem cell issue away from a value or morals judgement to how the science was used.

    For the GW discussion, Mr. Dutko attempted to counter Chris’s argument that GW is accepted the scientific community with a barrage of contrarian icons, including the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine petition (I believe). Unfortunately, there was almost too much information to counter in the limited time. It would have been nice to see a discussion about the petition, but unfortunately the conversation turned to Dr. Linton’s prior appearance on the Mr. Dutko’s show, and it’s difficult to dissect what was said when one is not privy to the earlier discussion. In these cases the host has a big advantage in that he can get an argument together, but in spite of that, Chris did well to counter his claims. Chris, I think you should feel good about your sojourn into the lion’s den, and you should not be worried about doing this again some time.

    I think it is interesting that the conversation turned to GW, as I don’t see that there is any theologically-based opposition (and here I am wearing my mainline Protestant hat) to this research, and I find it interesting that at least one listener (Victor) was interested enough to comment on this blog. For Victor (now I have my scientist hat on), I would recommend Chris’s book (I have read it and it is a pageturner, but no bodices were ripped in the writing of it) and also for any answers to your climate science questions.

    Chris, I really enjoy your book and blog. I am a fan of good science writing and reporting, and it is so important to have people who can explain science clearly to the general public (and to scientists outside of their fields).

  31. #31 Gerry L
    January 30, 2006

    Wish I could have pointed yout to this item in the Cincinnati Enquirer before your interview. It makes some good points about how science and religion/ethics/philosohpy complement each other. [I plan to blog on it, but I’m such a slow poke.]

  32. #32 David Wilford
    January 31, 2006

    DavidC, thanks for the summary of the show. I have to say I am a bit surprised that the subject of Kitzmiller vs. Dover didn’t come up, given the bit about creationism on the show’s website.

  33. #33 GH
    January 31, 2006

    Victor, while being respectful, you really seem to have a false axe to grind here.

    ‘Now, if he is a very strong debater and feels strongly about his facts and overpowers you in a debate,’

    He really doesn’t use facts so much as false assertions and really, really, weak arguments that simply back up what he believes to be true.

    ‘I will try to argue that evolution and religious belief are compatible. We will see where that gets me.”

    Well, SOME religious beliefs are incompatible with evolution, specifically any religion claiming the Earth is only 6000 years old or that we do not share a common ancestry with other primates.’

    Or those that feel said primates committed some form of ‘sin’. But your correct, many religions go along quite well with evolution.

  34. #34 JimC
    January 31, 2006

    What I find most curious about individuals like the host is their stance that one can ‘prove’ their religion. As if one could prove a man came back from the dead in spite of all known knowledge. If that wasn’t enough to posit it as an actual argument is flat out funny.

  35. #35 Victor
    January 31, 2006


    While the first quote is indeed mine, the second one was written by David Wilford above.

    As to my own words. You have to understand, I have had not much interest in GW, so for ME what both Bob and Chris had presented were facts. They both had their own set of facts. For me to make an honest decision as to what is a false assertion and what is truth will require some time
    researching. If look at my posts, I’ve never tried to discredit Chris’ arguments. I am simply not qualified, and I do intend to read his book. So, until then, FOR ME, both had facts. If you disagree with Bob Dutko, and you have done your research, then fine. Who knows, I may even join you at some point later.

    My ax was with the miring language used by another poster. I have listened to Bob Dutko for the past 3 years, and he actually was very gracious this time. I think he understood he had a worthy opponent, and Chris got his turns to present his arguments. I’ve heard Dutko talk over people, but that usually happens when the other person does not stop broadcasting his/her views and allow Bob to
    respond. Chris handled his part smoothly, and Bob reacted to it in kind. That’s my ax.

    Oh, and as to use arguments that back up what he believes, don’t we all? If I were to pose questions that cast shadow on what you believe in, wouldn’t you use facts that support your beliefs to counter?

    And for you all to have a field day and tear me to shreds, I do not believe evolution and the Bible can coexist. They maintain origins of life which are mutually exclusive. So, the issue becomes quite serious, and one must pick one or the other, because believing in both would mean that
    something that the Bible establishes as fact is actually not true. Then, since the Bible is called the Word of God, this would mean that God lied or withheld information about some things in His Word. What kind of God would it make Him? Without a strong foundation, what is the point in
    continuing to believe in such God? Who would want to believe in something knowing full well it’s ridden with lies?

    So, I take the Bible at its word, and believe in it 100%. This way I have a foundation that cannot be shaken. You may consider it’s a false foundation, and you are entitled to your opinion. But for me, this foundation keeps my ground rock solid. Now, my next step is learn about the attacks on my foundation and see for myself whether it stands up to scrutiny. I’ve been taught evolution in school, so I know a bit about it. In the past years I have heard curious arguments that poke holes in that theory. I guess, it’s just the time for me to get serious and do a thorough research into claims on both sides. That’s why I am intrigued by Chris’ book and intend to use it a starting point on this journey.

    Having stated my position, I shall refrain from any further debate because I am simply not qualified. I am neither scientist nor journalist. I am way over my head with you guys, and it will take time to be able to speak up on the issues.

  36. #36 Brian63
    January 31, 2006

    Way back when I lived around Detroit I would often listen to Bob Dutko. At one point I even had a brief email exchange with him about how he always distorts and parodies *the voices* of the people with whom he disagrees, and how rude and uncivil that is. He still does it though, and never really addressed my points.

    I do recall that he seemed a bit confused about GW. Sometimes he would say that there is no evidence that humans are causing it (or contributing to it), and at other times he would even question that the Earth was getting warmer at all. Depending on the day, he would take either position and contradict himself in the process.

    This guy is a former staffer at Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition and holds all the stereotypical fundy Christian beliefs: YEC, homosexuality is sinful, Biblical inerrancy, political conservatism, etc.

    Thank you for getting on his show though and defending good science!


  37. #37 GH
    January 31, 2006


    You have my respect. I think you are wrong but I respect your view.

    You said:
    ‘And for you all to have a field day and tear me to shreds, I do not believe evolution and the Bible can coexist. They maintain origins of life which are mutually exclusive. So, the issue becomes quite serious, and one must pick one or the other, because believing in both would mean that
    something that the Bible establishes as fact is actually not true.’

    I really respect you for this. So many wish to wittle this difference away. You don’t. RESPECT!

    ‘Then, since the Bible is called the Word of God, this would mean that God lied or withheld information about some things in His Word. What kind of God would it make Him? Without a strong foundation, what is the point in
    continuing to believe in such God? Who would want to believe in something knowing full well it’s ridden with lies?

    Again respect. I think your wrong about God and evolution here though. Just because evolution is true(it is) doesn’t mean God in one of his various forms(millions of them) can’t or doesn’t exist. Just your particular view of him. I agree it does bring much doubt upon the bible but there are many other reasons for that more far reaching than evolution.

    Evolution is a science theory and in and of itself doesn’t prove or disprove a God exists. It doesmake some of them less likely however.

    Have a great day Victor.

  38. #38 fyreflye
    February 1, 2006

    The modern evolutionary synthesis says nothing at all about the *origins* of life, and so there is no necessary conflict between it and the belief that life was originally created by by some god. In addition to reading Chris’ book read Evolution, The Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer, to find out what the actual facts are and what scientific conclusions have been drawn from them.

  39. #39 Victor
    February 2, 2006

    To GH:

    Thanks. All I want is being treated as an intelligent human being. And I intend to do the same. Whether my ideas/facts/arguments are wrong, that is up for a debate, and if we could have a civil one, then I would be more than willing to listen. I am not afraid of being wrong, and there is a 100% probability I am wrong on a number of issues, but an ad hominem attack would send me to the door at once. So, GH, you have my respect as well. We’ll debate later when I am ready. 😉

    And, if evolution is true, I do not think the God of the Bible can exist. If He lies right at the beginning (see my response to fyreflye just below), how can we trust Him elsewhere in the Word? What else is a lie? It is inconceivable that the God, who tells us not to lie throughout His Word, would lie.

    Also, if you do not mind, could you elaborate on “there are many other reasons for that more far reaching than evolution”? I would not want to steal this thread, so you could write me at vvo at lycos dot com. But only if you wish to spend time on this. Time is a precious commodity as you know.

    To Fyreflye:

    I would have to disagree. It seems to me the Bible states that all species were created AS-IS. There does not seem a mention of evolutionary development. Especially when it comes to humans, who were created AS-IS in God’s image. But then again, I have to admit that I am not familiar with the modern evolutionary synthesis. Yet it seems to me, based on the media, that the science community still considers humans as evolved from apes. And that is clearly in conflict with the Genesis account. So, I just may not be correct in using “origins of life” terminology. Remember, I am not a professional as you guys are. I just see the irreconcilable differences. And thank you for mentioning that book. I will read it. I’ve just checked, and my local library has a copy of it.

    Brian: I am with you on the voice distortion. I can see why he is doing, but I have grown tired of it. It’s simply not neccessary.

  40. #40 SLC
    February 2, 2006

    Victor: I am afraid that your statement that most scientists believe that humans evolved from apes is seriously in error. In actuality, humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor which is now extinct.

  41. #41 Noel Stalker
    April 26, 2007

    How did it go? I like Bob Dutko.

  42. #42 Minimal
    December 11, 2007

    So, very nice!

  43. #43 Sab
    July 26, 2008


  44. #44 Tobias
    March 19, 2009

    SLC, I am afraid you are in serious error. In actuality Darwin himself said, if intermediate fossels can not be found, than his theory is useless and wrong. You try to point me to one single fossel, that has been found, that is any animal that we know today, mixed with any animal that we know existed. Try as you may you will fail in your attempt. Cows mate with cows, and dogs with dogs and alligators with alligators HUMANS with HUMANS and APES with APES etc… How is it possible that we all evolved from one same common ancestor that is neither human or nor ape?


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