Posted by Jason Rosenhouse on December 20, 2005 05:06 PM

One taunt frequently directed at evolutionists is that we are unwilling to engage in fair and honest debate with our ID opponents. “If the evidence for evolution is as strong as you say,” runs the taunt, “then why are you so afraid to debate the other side?” This taunt became especially loud in the wake of the decision by scientists to boycott the Kansas evolution hearings a while back.

This decision shows what happens when evolution and ID are debated in a forum where facts and evidence are paramount, as opposed to flash and rhetoric. Creationists like public debates because they know that such debates are far more about theater than they are about science. The Kansas evolution hearings had nothing to do with science, and everything to do with providing cover for the foregone conclusion of an anti-science school board. Evolutionists are rightly skeptical about such venues.

I suspect that prior to this trial Judge Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, had probably spent little time immersed in the minutiae of the evolution/ID debate. Yet, after hearing a calm and sober presentation of the facts for both sides he wrote an opinion unambigously endorsing the anti-creationist arguments scientists have been making for years.

That, you see, is what happens when the facts are given a genuinely fair hearing.

Over at EvolutionBlog I have presented some further thoughts here, here, and here.