Jan Steen wrote:I'm afraid that I largely agree with welch in his pessimism. You are not debating reasonable people, you are debating members of a cult. We have witnessed their behaviour, their blatant dishonesty, so many times that they have become quite predictable. Perhaps not as predictable as Nerd of Redhead, but that is setting a very low bar indeed.
The recent Adria Richards story is an instructive case. When PZ Myers declares that "Adria Richards did everything exactly right" then this is treated as dogma by his sycophants (alright, that's why they are sycophants in the first place). Any dissent is labelled as misogyny, rape-enabling, etc., etc. Even relatively well-known allies (EBW, Julian) are burnt at the stake if they dare to question the correct PZ thought.
And these people must be convinced with reason and logic that they could be wrong? Well, could luck with that. You'll need it.
I'm new to all this but my 2c is that I agree with the above. From what I've seen they don't seem to know how to construct a logical argument. Nor do they seem to know how to deal with one when it is presented. Their skills are severely lacking in both areas so they're going to have to cram or fail. Their standard out when presented with evidence and clear, logical thinking is to gang up on people (dog-pile if you like), and/or suck the authorities into reaching into the toolkit for the hammer but they won't have either luxury in this case.
It's been said that this is exactly what will be their undoing and that this can only be a good thing. I'm not sure at all about that because this could easily be seen by one 'side' as an attempt at reaching common ground through reason and logic and by the other 'side' as an entirely political pursuit. And let's face it, the political angle is really all they have to fall back on - convince onlookers with rhetoric and just pretend that your presentation won the day. Ignore facts and use every rhetorical trick to win over the audience.
Then what do you have? Groundhog day, I'd suggest.
This is may come across more as cynicism than skepticism and I suppose we'll see in the end but I really do have my doubts.
Anyhoo, back to cider laced with Ghost Chilli. Nah, Jk.