Thursday, June 20, 2013

"We rarely do confrontational interviews..."

Steven Novella, on his podcast interview with a Texas educator who has challenged Darwinian dogma:

We rarely do confrontational interviews on the SGU...

What, you may ask, is the "SGU"?   The SGU is a podcast ("Skeptics Guide to the Universe") run by Novella and is the official podcast of the New England Skeptical Society.

They're devoted to... skepticism.

So why wouldn't "skeptics" routinely do confrontational interviews?

Novella:
The risk is that the tone of the interview will go sour. I have only done such interviews when I feel that the person being interviewed will be able to stay calm and professional even as we dismantle their position. Another risk is that the interviewee, who likely is a passionate and eloquent defender of their fringe position, will make it difficult to get a word in edgewise, resulting in a Gish Gallop.

Heh. Skeptical Society skeptics avoid confrontational interviews, because... their opponent may be "passionate and eloquent".

If skeptics avoid public interviews with passionate and eloquent opponents, what do dogmatists do?

19 comments:

  1. Itching for another fight and Novella is ignoring you? Awww...

    Hoo

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  2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Well, I see that "sponsor" of the podcast, the New England Skeptical Society, is a 501(c)3 basically run by Novella & Sons. I'm not saying it's a family tax dodge, but hey, if the glass slipper fits...

    Not only do they dredge up an outspoken Texas dentist-cum-politician to debate, Novella succumbs to what is apparently an irresistible temptation among the scientistic magisterium, and does a little end-zone buttwaggle/eyeroll for the crowd.

    But I think the closng sentence of Novella's post is a revealing one:

    Teaching science is about teaching scientific methods and the current best theories that have emerged from applying scientific methods. It is not about Truth or belief.

    Apparently, Novella believes that the truth about science education is that neo-Darwinism is the only theoretical perspective that should be taught.

    Personally, I'm skeptical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Novella's "skepticism" is pretty funny. He and his skeptical mini-me's are the most gullible crowd I've encountered. They swallow materialism and atheism whole.

      It's quite amusing, and makes for easy blog posts.

      Delete
    2. according to definitions in common use by liberals, that means that my tax dollars 'subsidize' this organization. i don't really believe that, i'm just assuming their false premise for the sake of argument. should we really be subsidizing an atheist group? i think we need to sic lois lerner on them.

      naidoo

      Delete
  3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 20, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Off-Topic: Vince Flynn, Catholic author of many NYT best-sellers, has died at 47. I was a huge fan of his Mitch Rapp novels, as were millions of other readers including Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

    Flynn died at a hospital in St. Paul, surrounded by about 35 relatives and friends who prayed the Rosary, said longtime family friend Kathy Schneeman.
    --- AP

    May "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"

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  4. The part I find most amusing is his name.
    Oh the synchronicity.
    In English it describes a short (reduced) work of fiction.

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  5. Egnor says “skeptics avoid confrontational interviews, because... their opponent may be "passionate and eloquent".

    That’s a deliberate misquote. Novella clearly states he avoids confrontational interviews because of some people’s inability to “stay calm and professional”, and that there is a risk that they “will make it difficult to get a word in edgewise.” Novella saying that his interviewees may be “"passionate and eloquent", is nothing more than a complimentary aside.

    Perhaps you should refrain from criticism when all you have to criticize is some bullshit you made up.

    -KW

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    Replies
    1. I read it, KW. And you're lying.

      That isn't a complimentary aside. That's "another risk" entailed in the interview, as he said, and therefore another reason to avoid it. His first reason is that he thinks a lot of his opponents don’t remain calm while he “dismantes [their] position.” He seems awfully sure he can dismantle it. Arrogant, in fact. When he can’t, he fears that the other person’s “fringe position” (defined by him to be a position held by a majority of the American public) might be articulated with passion and eloquence, and thus the other person might not allow him to get a word in edgewise. In other words, he's afraid that his own position might get dismantled if the other person is allowed to speak!

      Leftists are "master debaters" so long as no one else gets to speak.

      Sounds like Novella doesn't interview the other side because he's chicken.

      TRISH

      Delete
    2. In other words, he's afraid that his own position might get dismantled if the other person is allowed to speak!

      No, he's not. Look up the term 'Gish Gallop" and see how it might apply. No person who has ever resorted to Gish Galloping has ever "dismantled" someone else's position. All they've done is spouted a pile a useless blather in the hope that no one notices.

      Rather like you did in your comment.

      Delete
    3. Oh, Anonymous, no one ever says, "i'm afraid that the other person will dismantle my argument." You have to read between the lines. This guy doesn't do interviews with opposing voices because he's afraid, not because he's confident.

      TRISH

      Delete
    4. Can we at least admit that a position held by a majority of the public is not fringe? It might be right, it might be wrong, but it's not fringe. It's very mainstream.

      TRISH

      Delete
    5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 20, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      The phrase "Gish Gallop" is slang. The actual name is "MSNBC Mambo".

      Delete
    6. i'm with trish. he seems like a coward afraid to debate. liberals are known for that. they win the debate by making every one else shut up.

      naidoo

      Delete
  6. Also, the only part in quotes are "passionate and eloquent," which he did indeed say. He also features the entire quote in the previous paragraph for all to see. So he's not hiding anything.

    Sometimes I think KW is a character Egnor invented to spout stupid things that should embarrass leftists. He's kind of a trollish agent provocateur.

    TRISH

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    Replies
    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      I have a different theory, Trish.

      Popeye, Mathoo, and Troi are members of a new band inspired by the Village People. If you don't know who they are, click here. Popeye, Mathoo and Troi just have different costumes.

      Think about it: we have Popeye in his Crackerjack sailor suit, Mathoo dressed up in a cap and gown like an Oxford don, and Troi with his carefully groomed stubble and stylish eurotrash leathers.

      Unfortunately, the real Village People had better writers.

      Delete
    2. My theory is that KW is actually Bill Maher. Bill Maher couldn't use his real name so he had to come up with a handle.

      The Torch

      Delete
    3. Thanks to PRISM and a few good connections, I have been able to unmask KW. It seems he not only is a scientist, but a lover of music too! The lyrics he sings to Beethoven give a very clear indication of his philosophical leanings.

      See his video HERE

      Delete
  7. A Novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative...

    I like the fictional part! And prose as in prosaic is not bad either. Unless he meant prozac!

    Ah! All those artifacts in my brain are making my mind dizzy!

    ReplyDelete