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Where is the evidence?

Published April 7th, 2013 by Bobby Henderson

Here’s a video that has been making the rounds.   Richard Dawkins shows great patience in interviewing Creationist Wendy Wright.  I find it painful to watch but also fascinating.



471 Responses to “Where is the evidence?”

  1. Belsebub says:

    Well, I’m really starting to have my doubts about evolution now, the cretin herself is actually a proof against Well, I’m really starting to have my doubts about evolution now, the cretin herself is actually a proof against it.
    Hard to imagine that millions of years of selection of the fittest has produced something so incredible narrow minded.
    …Why didn’t he ask why her good and loving Creator made her relalative handicaped in the first place, and then not curing her either?

    Yes, it was i real pain to watch…but more scary actually!

    • Rev. Wulff says:

      Maybe we should start to think of it as some people evolved and some didn’t.

    • Keith says:

      Natural selection (and by extension evolution) is about adapting to survive in your environment. If you live in an environment filled to the brim with cretins you adapt to match their existence (ie become a cretin yourself),isolate yourself, migrate to somewhere else, or fall by the wayside.

    • Hilary Chow says:

      Because we got it right. It was unintelligent design.

      • Billy Bones says:

        Exactly, and some forms are better fit than others, as evidenced by the FSM’s creation, pirates, the apex of development. Ramen.

  2. Jon says:

    Disappointing. She’s allowed to blather on and on. She’s never put on the spot.

    Nor does Dawkins put on the table her continuing failure to answer the question put.

    Nor does Dawkins make the point that in science, you don’t get to vote.

    Nor does Dawkins confront her with her amazing shifting standard: all the things she believes and accepts as fact based on far less evidence than she demands for evolution.

    Waste of time. I bailed at 20 minutes.

    • James says:

      I agree that Dawkins is not at his best here. I think that part of it is that there is no audience that would put pressure on Wright to respond to his points, or neutral moderator to follow up on them.

      I found this video more interesting–although the trailer leading into it seems quite sensationalistic, at least his opponent is coherent, engaged and responsive. And there is a live audience… Dawkins rises to the occasion.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Xn60Zw03A

      • Keith says:

        I watched this “debate” up until just over halfway. The “interviewer” is, to my mind, an aggressive and obnoxious person. Perhaps if he had kept a level tone in his voice I would have been inclined to respect his point of view but he seems to be just on the point of clobbering Dawkins all the time.

        • James says:

          How well Dawkins responded to this aggressive interviewer, the civility that he maintained, was one of the things that impressed me most–and for me, made it all the more worth watching.

        • Kelsey says:

          I stand in awe of Dawkins ability to stay in conversation for a hour, with this sanctimonious, grinning bobble head.

          I fear she is the tip of the dimwitted iceberg.

        • TheFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          And it’s a good thing Mr. Dawkins has such patience, Kelsey. Otherwise – if he had stalked off in frustration – Ms. Wright would have claimed she “won” the debate. Hell, what am I thinking? She probably has, seeing as she can not possibly desert her position.

  3. Rational Dialogue says:

    Who can guess where Richard Dawkins’ limitless patience and admirable self-restraint with the poor woman came from? Might he have learned them teaching mentally deficient persons at some time in his distinguished career? Did they derive from a British sense of noblesse oblige as to inferior beings? In any case, Ms Wright’s inability—no, more important: her unwillingness—to think logically blows one’s mind. A medal to anyone who can manage to watch the full interview; half-medals to anyone who can stomach, say, 10 or 15 minutes of the airhead’s stubborn ignorance.

    I urge all who read this to see the Dilbert Classics comic today on GoComics.com — http://www.gocomics.com/dilbert-classics/2013/04/21/ — in which Dogbert discusses with two dinosaurs how their species evolved into birds. Scott Adams has drawn might meet Ms Wright’s criteria for evidence sufficient to convince her that evolution isn’t an unquestionably proven set of facts.

    • James says:

      Dawkins’ patience and self restraint are indeed admirable. I had similar thoughts that once he sensed that Wright might not be capable of responding to his arguments and evidence, he held back so as not to seem unkind (noblesse oblige, as you say). I think that it is true that even if he had made what I might have thought was the ideal argument and pressed harder for responses, it seems unlikely that it would have made the slightest difference in persuading Wright, so rigid are her beliefs. He is of course aware that the target audience is not only the person that he is “debating”, but us.

  4. The_Rogue_Analyst says:

    Once again, who needs the veracity of science when blind faith is a panacea for what allegedly ills us…Ms. Wrights refusal to answer any question put to her and dissatisfaction with any proof given to her is frightening…could she really be considered a rational being?

    • SillyKiwiMan says:

      Nope.

      There’s no way on earth she can be considered rational. She doesn’t need (unfortunately) to be rational in order to be heard by those who want to hear her say what they want to hear.

      Let’s face it, we here tend to congregate in an environment where our views on things are validated, it’s human nature. Everyone does it. The only saving grace with us doing it, as opposed to YECs, is that we (I feel safe in this assumption) are prepared to alter our view in response to evidence either for or against. I personally was cynical about the rate of climate change, until I was presented with evidence that swayed my opinion. Until I am presented with evidence, and I mean ACTUAL evidence of an invisible sadist in the sky, then I will continue to give it as much respect as I do Russel’s Teapot.

      Yarrgh,

      SillyKiwiMan

  5. Marcelo Spitteler says:

    For the sake of human gene pool I sincerely hope she dies childless.

    • Keith says:

      She probably abhors the idea of sex.

  6. James says:

    I have just found and am watching a debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox (scientist and Xtian) which covers much of the same territory as the one with Wright–except that they are having a real dialogue. Dawkins seems (understandably) much more comfortable pressing his case in this setting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLPOmSRx1HE

  7. E says:

    I watched this, and then a few other videos with Dawkins. I think he’s a really horrible debater. I mean, I of course acknowledge the facts and the logic, but the way he puts them or the way he uses them kinda doesn’t make sense. Some of these debates don’t seem to have a point in the first place. “There is evidence.” “No there’s not” “Yes there is, go to a museum” “I have” “I don’t believe you” “Well I have” “Well, then you must have seen the evidence” “I was no convinced” “Then you didn’t really see it” ….ad infinitum.

    The woman is ridiculous, but she makes one salient point: Dawkins is very pushy. In the same way it is obnoxious to talk to someone with a holier than thou attitude, Dawkins really only garners the attention of people who want to feel smarter than religious people. I think is core audience must be in the 15-24 years of age range. If he wanted to make things interesting, he could have given her a guided tour of a museum and seen how she reacted. Instead he just talked about it, which in any debate is going to be unconvincing. You can’t bring up facts, true or not, that both parties don’t yet agree on.

    His insincere appeals to her vanity like “I can’t believe how someone as smart as yourself could not see this” etc were also just too embedded in the angst ridden teenage “what is wrong with the world/this person?” were just gross. I think people who love Richard Dawkins must be people who unjustifiably think themselves very intelligent. “Look how dumb this person is, I must be a genius!”

    BUT THE FOSSILS. LOOK AT THE FOSSILS. Well, that’s not to say his opposition was any more intelligent, but I think anyone visiting this site already understands that. I just wanted to comment that Dawkins took a really pathetic and poorly thought out approach to trying to convince someone of evolution. He needed to satisfy her skepticism and he didn’t come with any of the tools he needed to do it. It would be nice if she were skeptical of God and the importance of God in a healthy society, but baby steps, baby steps….

    • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

      Can you imagine how exasperating it must be to Mr. Dawkins to constantly point out the obvious to those so thoroughly brain-washed they won’t budge an inch? I’m in awe of his genteel British manners; as an uncouth American I’d be holding back on my “fist of death” when dealing with those who are so sure of themselves yet so completely wrong.

      Do I consider myself more intelligent than the average Creationist? Yes, but that’s not the issue. It’s the closed-mindedness that gets to me. I would LOVE to be proved wrong that there is a Creator and thus maybe eternal life waiting for me and my loved ones – but thousands of years later not one shred of proof has surfaced.

    • Keith says:

      I don’t think it would have mattered one iota how he presented his case. As someone rather cleverly said: arguing with a christian is like playing chess with a pigeon. It will knock over the pieces, shit on the board and then strut around afterwards boasting about how it won.

      • E says:

        “It wouldn’t have worked anyway” it a rather petty argument. Religious people are not naturally stupid, just very heavily indoctrinated with a lot of pressures (from family, their worklife, their social life etc) to remain religious. Human beings are very capable of living with contradictions, bending their religious beliefs to accommodate scientific discovery (as Dawkin’s refers to repeatedly with his mentions of the bishops that accept evolution).

        The question becomes WHY have an argument with someone so unprepared in the first place. And the answer is pretty simple, but it has nothing to do with teaching or helping others. It helps him sell books, it helps him win over angsty young people (you know, the people writing “I wanted to punch her in the face” comments, as if they knew anything about evolution beyond a few classes in school they slept through). It’s fine to want to make money, but I feel like he’s saying one thing and doing another. IE: he kind of says he wants people to understand and educations themselves, but he’s creating masses of people who don’t understand but just believe in evolution because hey, that’s what the smart man making fun of Christians says, and aren’t Christians an annoying group of people protesting against gay marriage (they are). And what I get from this argument was that he wanted her to believe evolution, but he wasn’t really helping her to understand it. But you can’t make someone understand something by debating, of course. The whole point of a debate is to take two people who understand something very well and for them to suggest ways to one another about the pros and cons of ways of acting upon the data that they agree upon. They come from opposite positions about how one should act upon what we know, and draw upon a limitless array of potential consequences. But they don’t disagree about the fundamental facts of the problem. Otherwise it’s just called “bickering,” which is what I watched in this video lol. It serves no purpose but to flare up emotions.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      Quite apart from the issue of who’s “right” and who’s “wrong” – tiresome and fruitless as that argument has been demonstrated for ages to be – another argument that might irritate a lot of Christians and that I haven’t seen strongly enough articulated in these posts is simply that the Christian picture is tacky and shallow. Why is man like he is???? Why is the universe the way it is???? Because God made them that way???? Really???? Even apart from its utility, the actual structure of Man and of the Universe is elegant and subtle, even as little as we know for “sure” in the picture that science has built. Anyone who prefers a universe and a local life system sloshed up by a magician who is omniscient but whose word doesn’t mention any details at all is VERY MUCH THE POORER for all that, and we should express pity for those poor souls, rather than contempt. For one thing, it’s more Christian, even if you don’t see it in Ms. Wright. Why didn’t God mention molecules or quarks in His Word???? Because His Ways are mysterious and past human understanding???? Really????

  8. Gideon says:

    Who is right or wrong is one thing, but for me it is more interesting to see the dynamics of the interview. It is clear that Wendy Wright is not really listening to Richard Dawkins; she keeps rambling on and on. Richard speaks less, but what he says is by far more powerful than Wendy’s ‘mantra’… She fights for ‘respect’ for other viewpoints, but she doesn’t show much of that herself.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      If she actually listened to him then she would have to use logic and reason to dismantle his arguments. We know how that would turn out. She is better off playing Keith’s pigeon.

      • TiltedHorizon says:

        I’ve actually heard Christians tell me they cannot give any credence to these arguments because doing so would mean they would have to consider the possibility that everything they understand and accept as truth may be questionable. I guess it is easier to live with a lie one can understand than face the reality of the unknown.

        • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

          People don’t want to be enlightened. They want to be reassured. They’re comfortable in their cages of ignorance.

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