View Thread

Atheists Today » The Real World » Evolution
 Print Thread
Evolutionary debate released
Not sure if many or any of you heard about this. It was a heated issue for several weeks.
"On October 12, 2011 Theologian John Haught publicly debated prominent evolutionary scientist and atheist Jerry Coyne at the University of Kentucky. Although both agreed to a videotaping of the event, Haught later prohibited its release because he felt he had been treated unfairly. Coyne released blog posts addressing the matter as an offense to free speech. Reviewing their new status in the blogosphere, Haught and his associates at the University of Kentucky have decided to release the video."

I have seen many debates between Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins and friends against many non-evolutionists, but I have never seen a beating this bad. Jerry Coyne really smashes John Haught's face into the mud and he does not do it Christopher Hitchins style. He is actually rather passive aggressive about it. If you have an hour give it a watch. FF to 5:33-ish and that is the first speech given by Haught then followed by Coyne.

That's right, I said it...
This is an interesting discussion.

This is basically Haught
Photon - Just a slight nit to pick, Haught actually starts with the old "the universe must have a purpose which implies God" argument but he is so quick to assume it (he essentially states the premise in his first sentence then assumes it so it is easy to miss). Sadly though this makes the argument more coherent it does not help the validity of the argument at all.

Basically Haught is saying the universe must have a purpose and once you are transformed (ie religious) you can be aware that there is a purpose. I find it really comical that he then goes on to say that even with the super power that religion provides the actual purpose is still unable to be divined.

Coyne does a beautiful job of methodically breaking down the difference between faith and science. My favorite moment came when he suggested, and here I am poorly paraphrasing, "when the question comes up of why God doesn't manifest in any perceivable way the one possibility a theist cannot admit is the likelihood is that God simply isn't there".
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
I could not watch the whole thing because of some problem either with my equipment or the video. So I am only commenting on Photon and Seeker's comments.

Religion has so many purposes, to explain the difficult, to provide guidance to the morally challenged, to provide purpose for those without, to take away the mysteries of life.

We live by some accident. To try to explain that is a human weakness not a need. To accept a god because of your own weakness and make that an argument for the existence of a god is some twisted logic.
John - You pretty much summed up a good deal of Jerry Coyne's argument.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
I do like the quote "Science destroyed my world, and I love it for that reason.".

As for a theologian not making money, I have seen many in videos wearing top-notch suits, selling thousands of books - and all for having 'produced' nothing for humanity. I did enjoy the quip about 'breaking out in fits of happy' having ruined his career as a psychologist.
Bob of QF
Indeed: Preachers have the ultimate scam-- their 'product' does not exist apart from fantasies.

All they needs do, is evoke a similar emotional-fantasy response in the customer's mind, and viola! Instant product.

It's a scam PT Barnum could have envied.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
Jump to Forum: