The scientist, moreover, is conditioned to admit uncertainty and ignorance. That is an essential part of science. The creationist, therefore, attacks in that direction. He points out places in the evolutionary view where there are uncertainties and confusion, and the scientist must, perforce, admit it. He is forced to defend and explain endlessly.

The scientist, in fact, once maneuvered into the defense, almost never thinks of shifting to the attack. He never demands the actual evidence for the view that there was a universal creation a few thousand years ago. The creationist is never forced to state whether many men and women were then created, or only one pair; whether both sexes were created at once, or women after men; and whether serpents could at one time speak.

What's more, there is almost always a built-in bias on the part of the audience. Almost invariably, the debate takes place before people who are only sketchily trained in science, if at all, and who have, in many cases, an automatic reverence for the literal words of the Bible.

The creationist seems to be on the side of the Bible and religion (and Mom, and baseball, and apple pie, too), while the scientist is easily represented as being against these things.The audience, therefore, tends to place itself clearly behind the creationist, and that further confuses and demoralizes the scientist.

What ought a scientist to do then?

It seems to me he ought to decline to debate these showmen on their terms if he lacks the talent for the rough-and-tumble. And if he thinks he has the talent, he should not bother defending evolution; he should move to force his opponent to present the evidence for creationism. Since there isn't any, the results could be humorous.

-30-

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The Roving Mind
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