Dust settles after radio show

Well, my appearance on the WMFE radio station show Intersection didn’t kill me. Boy, does that half hour fly by fast when you’re on the hot seat!

You can listen to a recording of the show at the station’s website.

I had some trouble taming my jitters, but they didn’t seem to affect what I had to say too much. Now that I’ve had time to listen to the show, I feel I managed to get across my main point: evolution is science and intelligent design is not. Quite frankly, Rev. Book was full of hot air and snapped into preaching mode a few times too many. He didn’t have even an inkling of what he was talking about concerning science, and relied on reading quotes from other people until the show’s host nicely asked him to stop it. However, he couldn’t resist throwing in a few more later on.

At one point, Rev. Book was in full preaching mode and rambling all over the place, and so I finally felt that I needed to step in or else risk Book dominating the show. Thus a little verbal sparring happened. And then right at the end Book tried to run me over and I did my best to not allow him. It looked to me like Book irritated the host at the very end when Book threw in a plug for his own TV show.

So, it was a lively time! Go listen to the show and hear for yourself.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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9 Responses to Dust settles after radio show

  1. Mark says:

    Bravo Brandon! You did a fine job and I for one could not even tell that you were nervous at all. The Reverend sounded like a typical evangelical blowhard and I was glad to hear you put him in his place. Again, very well done and keep up the good work.

  2. S. Scott says:

    OM Gosh! I just listened to the show!! AAaaargh! Reverand John made my skin crawl! How ignorant can a person be? It’s apparent to me that he simply frightens people into thinking his way.
    I’ve been getting ready for the Jax meeting on Jan. 3rd. and I stumbled onto something fantastic!
    I’ve known about the “Steves” for a while, but I never knew about this!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clergy_Letter_Project

  3. Jonathan Smith says:

    S. Scott

    The NCSE has agreat deal of good material http://www.natcenscied.org/
    I think they were involved in clergy letter project

  4. Glenn Royer says:

    I listened to the show on the way home from work Wednesday. Tried to get home in time to call up in support of you but it wasn’t to be – 30 mins is far too short for most of the topics Intersection covers.
    Anyway! What I really wanted to say here was good job! I was anxious about who would be there supporting each side and you, sir, earned your stripes. I was worried about you (and the state) for a little while because none of the callers seemed very sympathetic.

    You, however, won the day the second he started yelling about liberal brainwashing.

    If you were disheartened by the lack of call-in support, just know you definitely did have supporters out there!

  5. Brandon Haught says:

    Thanks for the positive comments, folks!

    One thing I really wish I had done was nail the Rev. on his tendency to quote from other scientists.

    First of all, I suspect he was quoting from religious publications. He had a stack of photocopied pages in front of him, but I couldn’t get a close look at them. I wish I had asked to see his papers and then pointed out whatever “source” he was using.

    Second, I would have made note that he never quoted a biologist (I don’t think he did, at least). I could have said that it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask a Mormon about the Baptist faith, so it is likewise not appropriate to ask a rocket scientist about biology.

    Third, I had actually taken a college Biology textbook with me. It was sitting in a bag behind me during the show. If I had been quicker thinking, I would have yanked it out when he kept asking me to produce “one, just one scientist who buys this evolution stuff.” I could have first pointed out the book’s authors, then flipped to the pages that list the book’s reviewers. Dang that 20/20 hindsight!

    Finally, I would have then used all of the above to then appeal on air to the BoE and school board folks to rely on subject matter experts when making decisions about things they themselves are not experts in.

    Oh well. Maybe next time.

  6. Bob H says:

    You underestimated your performance on the Intersection show – I think you did great, and I certainly didn’t hear any jitters. I’m constantly amazed (and a bit frightened for my kid’s future) at the level of “bubba-ness” in our country in general, and in our state in particular. Those phone calls to the show made it all too clear!

    Whenever folks like the Rev. Book bring up Darwin, don’t forget to remind them that Darwin was born about 150 years before discovery of DNA, and the life sciences have come a long way since his original work.

    Emphasize, too, that there really is no “controversy” to teach, except in the minds of the ID folks – certainly not in scientific circles!

    Again, you did darned good. Get yourself booked on a few more shows like that!


  7. Brandon Haught says:

    Bob H,

    You’re right about those callers. I swear that most of them sounded spaced out on drugs. While that one caller was reading his “this I believe” thing, I swear that all three of us in the booth were straining to keep from rolling our eyes. That was comical.

    You should have seen the Rev. darn near explode when I mentioned the recent news article about humans still evolving. That was priceless. Here’s the article I was referring to: Study Finds Humans Still Evolving

  8. S.Scott says:

    Do you remember which Supreme Court ruling he cited? Was that from the 1950’s?

    S. Scott

  9. Jeremy Mohn says:


    I just listened to the recording of the program. I was reminded of a quote from Charles Darwin:

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

    Thank you for your valiant efforts in defending quality science education. They do not go unappreciated.

    Jeremy Mohn

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