Tampa folks: FCS on TV

Everyone in the Tampa area is encouraged at check out Florida Citizens for Science president Joe Wolf on a show called Flashpoint on the local ABC affiliate. Joe wasn’t sure when his particular episode will run, but the website says the show airs on Sundays at 11 a.m. The show is already taped, so Joe provided the following highlights of what happened:


I was interviewed by ABC last night along with Terry Kemple, president of the Tampa Bay Christian public policy group Community Issues Council. Kemple and I sat side by side along with the host behind a low table.  It was not a debate but rather a discussion.  Kemple spouted the same old stuff but with a couple of interesting twists.  When asked for problems with evolution he mentioned no intermediate fossils.  So I mentioned Tiktaalik.  However, he would not give up.

He was asked if he believed that those who accept evolution could also believe in God.  He said he did not know personally, but those who know more about theology than he does say no. The moderator tried to get the “just a theory” thing going, but it fell flat. He tried to pin Kemple down but in general was unsuccessful.  The stock phrases kept rolling out.  He really avoided responsibility. Every time he was boxed in he just passed the buck to someone of higher authority that was not present (a theologian or scientist).

The one new thing for me anyway was his attack on the National Academy of Sciences.  He said they were a bunch of bureaucrats that persisted in supporting evolution because they collect a lot of money to study it. According to him the National Academy makes most of its money from evolution. Can you guess his documentation?  Ben Stein. (See Expelled Exposed.)

He also used Stein’s movie as proof that scientists are not turning against evolution because they are afraid.

After the interview was over, the host suggested that it would be good to get some scientists into a similar discussion.  Kemple said he could do that. When the host asked for a local scientist, Kemple backed off.  He obviously feels he can bring in a big scientific name from Discovery Institute.


It looks like that once the show airs it will be posted on the station’s website. So even those of us not in Tampa will be able to check it out later. I have no doubt you did fine, Joe.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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52 Responses to Tampa folks: FCS on TV

  1. James F says:

    After the interview was over, the host suggested that it would be good to get some scientists into a similar discussion. Kemple said he could do that. When the host asked for a local scientist, Kemple backed off. He obviously feels he can bring in a big scientific name from Discovery Institute.

    Unfortunately for him, there are no big scientific names at the Discovery Institute, just PR people with degrees. 😈 Plus, most people at the DI tend to leave local folks holding the bag (and paying damages), like the Dover school board. With friends like those….

    Well done, Joe!

  2. firemancarl says:

    With friends like those….

    Who needs enemas! 😈

  3. S.Scott says:

    He was asked if he believed that those who accept evolution could also believe in God. He said he did not know personally, but those who know more about theology than he does say no.

    Yes … I guess he speaks for all clergy everywhere. Riiiiight.

    This is for you James …


  4. firemancarl says:

    C’mon S.Scott, you really don’t expect him to read before you makes an ass of himself, do you?

  5. S.Scott says:

    Right as usual fc – I guess I haven’t learned yet 🙂

    But maybe we can get a lurker to check out that link.

  6. Green Earth says:

    I would like to point something out, which you may have considered, this is not a religious attack- with that in mind:

    You KNOW if it were someone who was Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. pushing for their ideas of how the world came to be that the Religious Right would be all over it to keep it from happening. The RR is okay with alternatives as long as it is THEIR alternative ideas. (I did not mention Judaism as creation is a Judaeo-Christian idea- but note, the Jews don’t push for this crap [I’m Jewish, I can say that!])

  7. S.Scott says:

    @ GE – Correct. This is why the Clergy Letter is so important. It is signed only by Christian Clergy members even though interest in signing the letter has come from many different denominations.

    (Michael Zimmerman is author of the letter)

    ” Zimmerman said that the clergy letter was explicitly limited to Christian clergy. “Since it is fundamentalist Christian ministers who have been shouting to the American people that they must choose between religion and science, it seemed reasonable to have thousands upon thousands of Christian clergy assert otherwise.” He went on, “It simply wouldn’t be very persuasive to have leaders of other religions saying to Christians that Christian fundamentalist ministers are not speaking for all Christians.”

  8. Jonathan Smith says:

    Joe Wolf kicking butt on TV, way to go Joe, great job

  9. Jonathan Smith says:

    Not on subject,but worth a mention,evolution being observed:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm

  10. Tom says:

    One can believe in evolution but an educated believer in God cannot.

  11. Tom says:

    Every man has been given faith to believe in the true God. He also has been given grace to accept him for what he has done. Man can reject this grace and thence resist theology in all it’s freedom.

  12. Tom says:

    Once rejected he will build his life around all those things which he believes can “disprove” God’s existance.

  13. Tom says:

    Thence the evolutionary theory is the vehicle that can be promoted in order to “disprove” God as the Creator.

  14. firemancarl says:

    One can believe in evolution but an educated believer in God cannot.</i.

    now just stop it, your making my brain hurt. Saying one doesn’t “believe” in evolution is like saying you don’t “believe” that it rains. The facts are there, regardless of what you do or do not “believe”.

  15. firemancarl says:

    Damn it! I left the italics tag open!

  16. PC-Bash says:

    I’m starting to get bored with the Tom troll and his insinuation that evolution is anti-religious.

  17. Jonathan Smith says:

    I can tell you that the religionists,especially the fundamentalists like yourself, need to slowly but surely edge them selves step-by-step toward reality. All the talk about God has “always existed” and then became bored and decided to create an earth to play with etc., has no effect on rational people. Trying to degrade humanism and materialism do no good either. Going to the Bible and declaring it to be more reliable than science may have worked in the past but this is the 21st century.You have been indoctrinated by others(parents, churches) through no fault of your own?…you are told that you must believe in FAITH. As a radio preacher once said, “Faith is the Evidence.” (He repeated himself four times consecutively).Faith is your only evidence. (Another pearl of doublethink! I wonder if Hearsay is Proof also?)When words like these are pumped into the heads of innocent mortals,it is not difficult to see why religionists insist on holding on stubbornly when confronted with rational thinking.After all it’s only Satan trying to deceive you correct? Almost from the start children brought up in this kind of setting learn to filter all facts through a religious mind set. If reality contradicts the religion, then reality is wrong…. And since science by definition does not deal with super natural matters, it cannot challenge the religion. So why listen to science? I have seen the above kind of”thinking” steal many people away from the world of normalality. A watch you may say implies a watch maker.There for the earth “implies a earth maker. So, I ask: “Does God imply a God-Maker?”

  18. Captdave says:

    Tom Says:
    One can believe in evolution but an
    educated believer in God cannot.

    Let’s try that a couple of different ways which are truthful.

    Educated believers in God do believe in evolution.

    Uneducated believers in God can believe in evolution; however, they are more likely to not understand, and thus not believe in anything so confusing as science.

  19. Green Earth says:

    Evolution is NOT a belief system the way religion/faith are. As firemancarl already said, it is the same as saying “I don’t believe in gravity” it doesn’t work that way. People can choose not to “believe” but the bottom line is this:
    Evolution occurs, we are here due to a VERY, VERY long series of random mutations. Evolution makes no claim to completely understand how things initially began, but can show how things have progressed since.

  20. Green Earth says:

    Also, there is no “goal” or “destiny” for evolution. It is not “forward looking”.

  21. Tom says:

    You have proven my point since you all have rejected a God given gift of faith.

    1 ¶ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
    3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    God gives faith for everyone to believe but when you choose not to believe, for whatever reason, you cannot perceive the real truth. That is the way

    10 …….because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    You understand this because:

    ¶ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
    18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
    22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
    23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
    24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
    27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
    29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

    Until you are born again you cannot understand:

    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    You must be born again to understand.

  22. S.Scott says:

    Accepting evolution doesn’t mean you can’t have faith. Get a life,

  23. Tom says:

    Yes an unknowledgable believer could believe in evolution – but one who knows His Word knows that it is a false doctrine. I have a life – now its your turn.

  24. Tom says:

    You must be from the liberal wing of the church.

  25. Tom says:

    SScott have you read the Bible lately ?

  26. Captain Jack says:


    The Flying Spaghetti Monster loves you very much. He wants you to know the Truth of Creation:


    May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage.


  27. Jonathan Smith says:

    Tom,Your point is not proven,and I have written this before:

    Quoting from a work is fruitless unless you first prove the book is valid, truthful and reliable and the Bible fails this test. Instead of proving the evidence for evolution to be false or invalid, or proving the Bible to be true, valid and inerrant, you merely assume as much and proceeded to quote at will. Don’t you believe the Bible when it says, “Prove all things…” (1 Thess. 5:12) or “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then…open to reason,…” (James 3:17). What have you proved? Where is your strong evidencen? The Bible says, “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you;…” (1 Peter 3:15). Where is your evidence? Mere assertions prove nothing.
    My friend, with all due respect, if there is any verse in the Bible you and those of like mind should commit to memory it is Proverb 14:15, which says, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”

  28. Jonathan Smith says:

    Tom,and yes, I have read the bible latley!!!

  29. Jonathan Smith says:

    Sorry LATELY

  30. Tom says:

    Jonathan. You must be born again to understand the things of the Bible. Are you born again ? You must be born spiritually. From Adam all men are born dead spiritually. Your soul and body is finite. But your spirit is either dead to God or alive to God. Have you been born again ?

  31. Tom says:

    Jonathan – Unless a man is born again he will die in his sins. Go back and read carefully the post of 1:58 PM.
    When Christ was in the presence of those with a hard heart he said if they knew God they would know Him. Since they did not recognize Him they did not know God. You have not yet humbled yourself before your maker as you ought. Its through humility (acknowledging you don’t know everything) that we know there must be something outside of ourselves which is far superior than we are. Those who are in bondage to sin (lusts of the flesh, deceitfulness of reiches, pride of life, etc.) have been blinded spiritually. When you find yourself in a difficult position do you cry out to Darwin ?

  32. PC-Bash says:

    Tom –

    If all you are going to do here is preach your evangelical nonsense, I think the moderator ought to ban you.

    Keep the discussion relevant to science versus anti-science, please.

  33. Tom says:

    All of you will face a difficult situation beyond your wisdom. There is freedom to those who humble themselves before a living God. We are but like little children before an all knowing God. We think we know it all but he is patient with our folly so that we will realize our folly without Him. It is wise to acknowledge that. It is such a burden lifted when you see the truth. But a man’s mind is limited in its ability to know all things. That is the way yoiur maker has made it. You will never find rest in your “knowlegde”. You do know from experience the wickedness in mans heart. Some more than others. You can see it in the world. Man speaks of world peace – It will never be until the individual finds peace with his maker. You strive to keep your theory alive. But it will not stand the test of time. It will be shown to be folly. But no use picking the dead leaves off of your trees – the very root of your existance is in your makers hand and you slap it away. He is ever patient with you.

  34. Tom says:

    PC Bash you seem to interupt a conversation. Jonathan asked me a question. You evidently must be there boss to keep them in line. Are you afraid of somethng ?

  35. Tom says:

    The discussion comes down to this. A man either believes in God or evolution. There is no in between . You are either for or against.

  36. Jonathan Smith says:


    You stated in your post, that the issue is, “You must be born again.” But that is by no means the issue. The issue is, “Is the book from which that statement comes, valid? Is it the word of God?” That’s the real issue. If it isn’t God’s Word, who cares what it says. It’s no more inspired and deserves no more credence than any other book. Thomas Pain could not have said it better: “… but before anything can be admitted as proved by the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it doubtful, it ceases to have authority, and can not be admitted as proof of anything.” The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine, p.89

    You say I need to be saved. But the truth is, you need to be aware of the fact that you have accepted a book, adopted its precepts and expounded its teachings without investigating its validity or performing a reasonable intelligent critique of its contents. Apparently you are so desperate for something to believe in that you are willing to minimize or ignore all contrary information. As I told some college students recently after a protracted discussion, “As long as it looks good, sounds good, feels good, and seems to make sense, you really don’t care whether it is true or false. Having something to believe in is more important to you than the accuracy of that which you believed.” Francis Bacon, the philosopher said it well: “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
    As PC wrote quit preaching,and provide some science or go away.

  37. Brandon Haught says:

    I will repeat here what I’ve said in a previous thread of this nature. Some mention of religion does crop up in these discussions in relation to the subject of evolution education. That is OK. But constant blatant preaching does not contribute to the discussion of science or science education. Any future posts of that nature will be deleted.

  38. Tom says:

    Just want to help Jonathan off the fence.

  39. Tom says:

    I will leave your website, not a problem. You can go back to your closed society. Just didn’t want Jonathan to think that you can mix evolution with God as Creator. I bid you all farewell.

  40. Tom says:

    Oh and James I have seen this website of liberal theology. Not one there believes in God. They don’t even believe in the Bible as God’s Word. So they may believe in a god but not the God. Fare the well.

  41. Jonathan Smith says:

    Tom :

    I jumped off the fence years ago,but I thank you for your concern.
    And so far as the New Testament is concerned–it is a compendium of both historical and logical contradictions (read: S.G.F. Brandon, Joel Carmichael, or G.A. Wells) filled with paganism and old time superstition. Easter is named after the old goddess of Spring. Christmas falls upon the winter solstice, which is when the Saturnalia was formerly celebrated.
    I could go on and on, as any good amateur Bible critic could do. The point is that the more carefully one reads the Bible, the more absurd and utterly ridiculous it becomes. Anyone who believes that the Bible is the word of some god cannot claim to be at all rational (to paraphrase Clarence Darrow); and what future is there in store for mankind if there is to be this disdain for rationality?
    Not wishing to draw Brandon’s rath I will not post any more on this point.

  42. Tom says:

    So Jonathan, you prove the point – you do not believe the Bible. So at least you are consistent. As I said you cannot believe in the God (of the Bible) and the theory behind evolution at the same time. They both oppose each other. So just wanted to be clear on that. So you don’t confuse yourself where you stand. I will not try and convice you of something you don’t want to be convinced of otherwise. Just wanted it to be clear you are either for or against. As long as we are agreed on that point. At least PC-Bash understands this.

  43. Ivy Mike says:

    You know what never ceases to amaze me?

    It’s the absolute, irrepressible arrogance and self-righteous egotism of fundies like Tom.

    I mean, a person would have to have an ego like Maverick x 100 to presume to get up in front of everyone and loudly proclaim their, and their “way’s” superiority; and at the same time informing everyone that they are bound for “hell” if they but disagree with the pontificator.

    How overwhelmingly, balls-out presumptuous does one have to be to do this? How blindingly full of delusions of grandeur? And finally, how totally socially deaf, dumb, and blind to how normal people will react, no matter their religious leanings? Do these folk really think that, due to their rantings, someone might be bathed in “white light” and suddenly find “God”, instead of immediately wishing that the pontificator would shut up and go away?

    And, didn’t their own “savior” speak NEGATIVELY about such self-rigteous, ego-driven behavior?

  44. Tom says:

    I admit my ignorance. What is a fundie ?

  45. PC-Bash says:

    The discussion comes down to this. A man either believes in God or evolution. There is no in between . You are either for or against.

    That is only true if someone subscribes to your narrow world view. Your literalist interpretation of your bible is invalid if you also choose to follow modern science, modern medicine, or bother to read history.

    Most people are pragmatic about their bible reading. They understand that man wrote their bible, and men are fallible. There are things which are incorrect, outdated, or contradictory in your bible. There are also things which are meant to be allegorical and not literal such as the creation myth. This story is not about how the world was created, but is really about the explanation of the concept of sin which is an important concept to understand throughout the later chapters and books in the Torah.

    So, claiming that I understand this false dichotomy that you have imagined up because of your literalist beliefs is incorrect.

  46. PC-Bash says:

    What is a fundie?

    A fundamentalist, a literalist, an evangelical, and generally an anti-scientist.

  47. Jonathan Smith says:

    Pc I agree,and here is a quote from Sam Harris that underlines your points.

    “One of the extraordinary ironies of religious discourse can be seen in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while non believers for their intellectual arrogance. You have done a fine job of this above. And yet, there is no world view more reprehensible in its arrogance than that of a religious believer: The Creator of the Universe takes an active interest in me, approves of me, loves me, and will reward me after death; my current beliefs, drawn from scripture, will remain the best statement of the truth until the end of the world; everyone who disagrees with me will spend eternity in hell…
    An average believer has achieved a level of arrogance that is simply unimaginable to a non believer—and there have been some extraordinarily arrogant atheists.”

  48. firemancarl says:

    Yeah, but what if I dont believe in Tom????

  49. Brandon Haught says:

    Sorry, but I’m closing comments on this post to put out the religion fire.

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