Richard Dawkins refuses to debate Creationists. He says that the reason for this is advice from Stephen Jay Gould (himself famous for the “Darwin Wars” debates). Gould said that, whatever the outcome, Creationists would win, because the very fact that they could debate a well-known evolutionist gave credence to their beliefs. The strategy is specifically outlined in the Wedge Document.
The fact that this one-way credibility is true has nothing to do with the truth of either side. Whenever a fringe belief is given equal time as an established belief, it is good for the fringe belief and bad for the established belief. The establishment, in other words, has very few people it can win over and everything to lose. The fringe has everything and everyone to gain.
In much the same way as evolutionists will always lose a little to creationists in one-on-one debates, so too will theists lose out to atheists. In this situation, the tables are reversed: theism is the establishment now and atheism the fringe. Debates between theists and atheists always favor atheists.
Every public debate seems to bring up more questioning theists than questioning atheists. It’s all a numbers game… and it works for every set of opposing beliefs.
- Democrats vs. Greens
- Republicans vs. Constitutionalists
- Holocaust Survivors vs. Holocaust Deniers
- Friday vs. Wednesday
- Gorbachev vs. Khrushchev
- King Kong vs. Godzilla
- Lieutenant Ripley from Aliens vs. Major Dutch from Predator
- Apples vs. oranges
… I forgot what I was supposed to be listing… Where’s the bathroom?