My Account of KGNW AM 820's 'Street Talk' On Saturday, January 15, 1994 Jason Robar and my

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My Account of KGNW AM 820's "Street Talk" On Saturday, January 15, 1994 Jason Robar and myself appeared on creationist radio station KGNW AM 820's "Street Talk" for two hours. We defended evolution against host Leif Moi and Dr. Doug Jue, president of the Seattle Bible Science Association. Before the show, we had made a number of requests concerning groung rules. One of the ground rules was that we would debate the SCIENTIFIC evidence concerning creationism and evolution. Unfortunately, we did not spend more than 20 minutes out of the two hours on evolution. What did happen is that we were forced to spend over an hour on the Big Bang Theory, and a lot of time on why we PERSONALLY do not happen to believe in God. When I walked into the studio, I unloaded two binders, three absolutely stuffed hanging-file folders, and 12 books (one was 900 pages) from my backpack. The first two questions we were asked were designed to test our knowledge of evolution. So from the onset of the show our host knew we were prepared to debate any of the standard creationist arguments against evolution. He therefore virtually abandoned evolution and creationism. Most of the show was spent discussing everything but "the SCIENTIFIC evidence concerning evolution and creationism." Instead we talked about the Big Bang Theory, why Jason and I are not Christians, logical syllogisms, etc. The only person who brought up the flood was me. They didn't even attempt to mention the fossil evidence or try to abuse punctuated equilibrium. We never heard a scientific theory of creationism stated and we were never given the oppurtunity to present our evidence for evolution. In short, our host was a master at sensing our weakness (the Big Bang) and shifting the focus of the show to that. We were not prepared to debate the Big Bang and so the host used that issue very effectively to turn the show into a debate on the existence of God. I was impressed because both Jason and I were championship debaters in high school and he managed to completely choose what we would and would not discuss. We did, however, manage to make a few key points: The speed of light proves that the universe is billions of years old. Dr. Jue tried to suggest that the speed of light has decayed. We gave scientific evidence demonstrating that this is not the case. Evolution does not mean that humans have evolved from modern apes. We never cease to be amazed by how many creationists have this misconception. Jason and I repeatedly mentioned that the Big Bang has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. We could grant for the sake of argument that the Big Bang is false and that would not disprove evolution. The creationists' commitment to a certain interpretation of scripture forces them _a priori_ to reject certain scientific evidence, including evidence for an old universe and biological evolution. The church's rejection of Galileo is a good example of how a prior commitment to a certain interpretation of scripture can force people to reject a complete body of evidence. Creationists are closet evolutionists because they believe that 250,000 species of beetles evolved from a single beetle "kind". They say that beetles are still beetles, but the point is that evolution from one species to another even occurs in creationist scenarios. The "fact" of evolution and the "theory" of evolution are two different things. The fact of evolution is that evolution occurs. The theory of evolution is the exact mechanism. We quoted Stephen Jay Gould's essay, "Evolution as Fact and Theory." The origin of life is a completely different debate from the evolution of life. A caller tried to suggest that we could not believe in a divine origin of life because we were both agnostics. I replied that we had no problem accpeting a divine origin of life, because we could just switch to deism, which isn't that different from agnosticism. I also pointed out, to the contrary, that the caller and our opponents could not accept a natural origin of life because of their prior commitment to a certain interpretation of scripture. If I ever get the chance to do something like this again, I am going to absoltely insist that the creationists give a scientific theory of creationism and positive evidence for that theory. Leif Moi and Dr. Jue completely abandoned a defense of anything that even remotely resembled a so-called "model" of creationism. There is no way to know exactly how many people listened to the show, but I would say that a lot more people than usual listened in. In my hometown newspaper, _The Bremerton Sun_, there have been to date 23 letters to the editor about evolution. I suggested to Leif that he contact the Sun about the show, which he did, and they mentioned the show in their paper. Appropriately, the first two callers were from Bremerton. After the show, we were invited back for a future show on evolution. Dr. Jue also thanked me for not mentioning the Paluxy River creationist hoax. I replied that my policy is not to mention creationist hoaxes unless creationists mention alleged evolutionist hoaxes. (He did not thank me for discussing the speed of light.) We were not allowed to mention Arthur Srahler's book _Science and Earth History_, which makes the most systematic defense of evolution we have ever seen. Nor were we allowed to give the toll free number for the National Center for Science Education (1-800-290-6006), because Leif considered that proselytizing.


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