A couple of days ago, Mrs djarm67 was told that a local radio station was going to host a speaker who would confront the “New atheism” movement and evolution. I took the info on board and began listening to the station to get some more info, e.g. when and who. This proved to be a mildly irritating experience within itself as my musical tastes are stimulated far more easily by a combination of prog-rock and hybrids of grunge, psychedelia or various brands of metallic funk with at least a short term residence in the Phrygian mode. This exercise was made somewhat more pleasant with the lubrication of a blend of Hunter Valley Cabernet Merlot. Eventually, it was revealed that the event was to occur not just on the Sunday night but would utilise frequency modulation of the VHF electromagnetic spectrum. The proponent gracing the airwaves at that time to “confront” this new atheism and evolution would be Dr Steve Kumar.
Heard of him?
Neither had I.
So began the extension of my love affair with all things online. I began to investigate the “who” behind the scheduled event. Who is this Dr? A Dr of what? Where did he get his doctorate? Was it legitimate or Hovindesque?
I found many examples of duplicates of his bio (marketing brochure) which attested to an awesomeness clearly in excess of anything I could hope to muster. Finding out what he was a doctor of or where he got it proved difficult and I actually had to rely on his introduction on the radio programme itself to educate my ignorance that I would be dealing with a “Doctor of Philosophical Theology” if I chose to enter the field of battle.
Here is Dr Steve Kumar
Dr Steve Kumar
I did find a reference which indicated he had received his doctorate from the same “California diploma mill” as disgraced NZ MP Bernie Ogilvy (who I believe claimed to possess a law degree from an institute which did not even have a law programme). A brochure promoting the “Eleventh annual European summer study session of the International Academy of apologetics, evangelism and human rights” lists Dr Kumar as “Faculty and Advisory” alongside a conspicuous William A Demski. Post-interaction with Dr Kumar, I found another reference which indicated that the institute in question is the “California Graduate School Of Theology” (a worthy member of the Wikipedia “List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning”)
So here I was. An anonymous YouTuber with dreams of “League of Reason” blogging prowess about to confront some (apparently) world renowned Christian apologist who was a doctor no less. I had never been involved in a live radio debate previously. When responding to those on forums or my YouTube channel, I have the luxury of being able to research an answer prior to responding (a luxury not present in the heat of the battle which is talk back radio). I set up my tape recorder, turned on the radio and reached nervously for the phone. Here is the result.
This debate is split across two YouTube videos. Please watch both as I am a blatant video view whore. Oops, I mean I think you will enjoy them both. I’ve included accompanying images and video footage which I hope you will find humourous.
Evolution debate: djarm67 vs Dr Steve Kumar Part 1
Evolution debate: djarm67 vs Dr Steve Kumar Part 2
In addition, for those who frequent PZ Myers blog; Pharangula, I have included a Cephalopod treat for you.