Here's an interesting story. At least to me. Bob Dutko was going to be speaking in Flint at a church on the topic of evolution. This is not far from me, so I thought I'd go. It worked out pretty well because I had car repairs being done that were only about 10 miles from the church, so I picked up the car and headed up.
What I didn't realize was that this was a youth event. I knew it was sponsored by the youth ministry, but I didn't realize that it was basically exclusively teenagers. This church youth ministry was unlike anything I had seen. As I entered there were two rows of teenagers on either side of the doors that lead to the youth room. They cheered you like you were a football player coming out the tunnel. "Hey, thanks for coming!! Way to go!!" Inside Christian music is blasting. Foosball tables, pool tables, xbox, wii, a bar with popcorn and (non alcoholic) drinks. It's a huge party.
I walked right by Bob Dutko who was sitting at a desk trying to sell his CD's, not realizing it was him until the last second. I paused, then went back and introduced myself as "Jon in Commerce." This didn't ring a bell for him. I told him I called and argued with him on the air about his errors. "What is it that I'm wrong about?" "Oh, everything." He laughed. I told him I'd like to maybe argue a little after his talk, but that I wouldn't make a ruckus or anything and would be discreet.
Fortunately there were lots of people, so I didn't stand out too badly (I don't think). They started with this toilet paper race thing that I won't describe. Then it was the very loud band. Finally Bob Dutko gave his talk "The Missing Think: Why Evolution Doesn't Make Sense". Nice title.
Most of the talk was material I'd heard on his radio show. Marco Polo described a dinosaur. Lack of fossil evidence. He gave an interesting analogy using the movie "My Cousin Vinny". He used the movie to show that if you only get one side of the story, like when you've heard the prosecution's case only, the defendant might look pretty guilty. It's the other information that is left out that actually reveals the truth. It's a worthwhile analogy, but as I sat in the audience I couldn't help but think how this applied more to his listening audience than it does to biology students.
Afterwards I didn't approach him immediately. I wanted to give him plenty of time to sell his CD's and talk with the kids. I ended up gabbing with a a parent that happened to be there. A little too long, because as we talked I could see Bob was packing up. So I broke off the conversation to speak with Bob for just a moment. I brought up Tiktaalik and Lucy. We went back and forth a little on that.
What I expected was that we might have a little more of an even exchange. When I call on the radio I understand that it is his show, and he's going to dominate the microphone. But there's no need for that now. But as our discussion progressed he dominated the conversation even more than he does on air.
His assistant Jen, did indicate she remembered me. Bob is in the middle of making a point as she said this, and also told me to call in again Friday and she'd put me through. I said I would. Bob is still arguing some point, but I try to get him to recall me. "Remember, we talked about Iraqi sanctions" I said. He nodded yes, but kept arguing.
Jen interrupted him to say in a half laughing voice "Please Bob, we really gotta go." Bob didn't miss a stride as he kept talking at me, simply acknowledging with his eyes that he had heard her. I laughed a little and tried to bring levity to the discussion and said "Boy Bob, you and I could have so much fun arguing if we had more time." Bob did not smile at all, but just grew more intense. As he continued talking I interrupted him to say "I know you gotta go. We can walk towards the car if you want to keep talking." So they walked towards the car as Bob continued to talk, with me inserting one or two sentences here and there which he would take and run with.
Jen asked if I could help with directions as Bob continued to talk at me. It was almost like we had a little mini-conversation as I stood in silence while Bob talked. I grabbed my hand held GPS to show her things as Bob kept going. Unfortunately my battery was dead and she said don't worry. She'd just call someone. All the while Bob is still going at it. He's getting even more irritated and I'm barely talking. He slams his trunk shut angrily. He opens his car door and says something, and if I quickly reply he can't allow himself to get into his car. He must have the last word.
All in all a pretty weird, completely unproductive conversation. I was obviously getting on his nerves. I don't know if he realized who I was and decided he didn't like me or what.
So I dutifully called him as I said I would. Listen here. We talk about how ERV's are powerful evidence for evolution. Bob had no idea about them and didn't reply on substance one bit. He just denied that they showed evolution.
I didn't intend to describe my evening with Bob, but when I called in towards the end he suggested that I am not letting things go, just like I didn't let things go in the parking lot, and he says that he was trying to leave and I wouldn't let him go. If you listen you'll see that I was about to set the record straight, but I decided not to. But the fact is Bob is the one that would not let things go. I was not holding him up. He was holding himself up.