Got a creationist coming to your town or school? A commenter from Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education left an excellent summary of how to counter these travelin’ frauds effectively. The key is simple: recruit. Get the information out. Don’t let them come in and babble unopposed or with an audience imported from the local fundie churches — get informed people there, and the creationists will crumple easily.
Notice that this isn’t about suppressing their information (or even expelling them) — it’s shining the light of open public criticism on their shenanigans.
A little more background on how University of Oklahoma students and others
opposed the Dembski appearance:
A group of students now forming a chapter of Center for Inquiry
received permission to place chalkings on campus sidewalks to counter the
ads for Dembski’s talk sponsored by ‘Pursuit College Example of the
chalking: “A Federal judge ruled in 2005 that ID was Religion and Not
The same group of students, plus some grad students from Zoology handed
out to all entering the lecture the pre-trial statement of Jeffrey Shalitt
that fairly demolished Dembski’s arguments for ID.
A full page ad in The Daily Oklahoman student paper against Dembski
appeared the morning (Monday)of his talk and was signed by about 200
faculty, staff and graduate students. The ad was drafted by an English
instructor. Dembski took bewtween 5 and 10 minutes at the beginning of his
talk to defend the anti-Dembski comments in the ad. His defense was
without merit, but did force him to skip about a dozen of the slides in his
talk because he ran out of time. The ad was financed by contributions from
many of the signers and by the OU Chapter of Sigma Xi, a national honorary
scientific research society.
An excellent Op-Ed opposing Dembski and ID also was in the student
paper on Monday morning, along with an ineffective counter by the paper’s
religion writer. A second excellent Op-Ed opposing ID appeared Tuesday
morning after Dembski’s talk.
The creationist group wanted a big audience and they got one. The room
held 400 and many were turned away. However, I don’t think they expected
that more than half the audience was against ID and showed it – especially
during the Q and A. Of course, the ID crowd will pull out there old
strategem – ‘See how important we are. We attracted all those scientists
to our talk.”!
The Baptist group may claim success (there is talk that they plan to
produce a DVD , but I doubt that it will include the Q and A, where
Dembski was pretty much skewered – mostly by undergraduate students who
insisted on answers when Dembski waffled in his answers! We are very proud
of our students and how they handled their pertinent questions!
That’s marvelous. It reminds me of the public reaming Paul Nelson received when he visited UMM … and again, it was the students who were able to shred their pathetic arguments, and did so with gusto.