Friday, 20 July 2012

Creationists and the, er, "truth"

Oh, dear, it seems that Creationists don't like it when their bluff is called...

David Klinghoffer, a creationist blogger complained about being "hounded" by scientist Carl Zimmer on FaceBook.  This "hounding" amounted to a repeated request for evidence to support a claim made in a book.

Instead of providing the references requested, Klinghoffer offered a "debate" with Zimmer, but, bizzarely, limiting the debate to two, one-thousand word posts, and ensuring that the creationist side got the last word.

Who ever heard of a debate being limited to two short statements??

Klinghoffer is also complaining that "almost everyone on the evolutionary apologetics side has refused to read [the book]", and yet are still attacking it.  Klinghoffer claims to have been a book reviewer, so he must realise that even the most dedicated reviewer does not buy the books they review.  The publisher sends them a copy, secure in the knowledge that the book will receive a fair coverage.

I made a personal offer to Mr Klinghoffer;

I am a Science teacher, rationalist and atheist, and I would be more than happy to take up your challenge, but I am afraid I do not have a copy of the book to be able to properly address any of the points therein.

If you would be so kind as to send me a copy of the book, I will gladly read it and then enjoin in debate.

Unfortunately, I am leaving the country in a few days, and will be out of the country until the end of August.  If you would like to enter into the debate more quickly, you may prefer to send me an Amazon voucher by return of email, so that I can download the book onto my Kindle, and work on it as I travel (I will be online every day).
I look forward to the opportunity of establishing some truths with you.
I am quite happy for you to publish the content of this email on your website, on the clear condition that you keep my email address and postal address strictly confidential.
Klinghoffer has not had the manners to reply to me personally, but has instead blogged about my offer:
I've just received an email ... offering to stand up as champion for the Darwin side in a debate if we'll provide him an Amazon voucher so he can download the book onto his Kindle.

I was hoping for a substantive exchange with one of our familiar antagonists who have ample time to monitor a Facebook thread but no time or inclination to read the book under discussion and tell us what they think of it. Like PZ Myers, it seems I'm bound to be forever disappointed.
I offered him exactly what he wanted, and he responded with scorn and lies.

I do not monitor FaceBook, and I have a strong inclination to read the book, and to tell anybody who will listen what I think of it.

I believe, though, that Mr Klinghoffer is, at heart, scared of what people will say about the book.  Why else does he go out of his way to obstruct the normal book review process (never mind the peer review process!), and expect reviewers to buy the book before he reveals even one reference contained therein?  Why else does he not reply to emails?  Why else are replies disabled on his blog, forcing me to post here in the vague hope that he will see it?

Why else, when he receives an offer of exactly what he asked for, does he attempt to spin it into some sort of con?

Mr Klinghoffer, I call you coward, but it is very easy for you to prove me wrong: just send out review copies of the book, and accept what comments you get, just like any honest publisher does..


  1. (Haha, Klinghoffer's failure to allow comments on his posts actually drove *my* traffic up almost twenty-fold!)

  2. Disappointing. :(