Here’s one way to win a debate: Start an argument with folks who aren’t particularly talented debaters. Then keep them on the defensive with complicated, highly philosophical spurious attacks and baffling red herring arguments. Finally, before they have finished responding, pull the rug out from under them with a well-planned political end-run that trumps the whole debate.
That basically sums up the strategy being employed by the Intelligent Design (ID) movement as it continues to attack public science education across the U.S., say scientists and science educators. How to counter these attacks in the classroom, at school board meetings and on the national level, is the focus of two expansive sessions with 24 wide-ranging presentations on Sunday and Monday, 16 and 17 October, at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.
Among the first mistakes scientists and educators make is actually arguing with ID proponents in politically-staged events, says Lee Allison, Senior Geologist for the Kansas Geological Survey. Not only does that allow the ID promoters to control the debate, but it pits scientists and educators against highly trained professional ID debaters, and implicitly lends credibility to their anti-evolution manifesto.
Ann Cairns | EurekAlert!
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