By Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong
The first exchange took place at Michael Voris' Church Militant TV website, on 1-8-14, shortly before Robert Sungenis and Rick were to be interviewed on the Mic'd Up show (under the trailer for The Principle). The second (after five asterisks) occurred on a thread on Karl Keating's Facebook page on 1-10-14. Rick's words will be in blue.
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I want to make a promise to everyone following this discussion. I am not in the least bit intimidated by our self-appointed ecclesiastical KGB agents. I relish the fight. My film has the goods, and will stand up to all attempts to discredit it....
And can you reiterate for the folks again, Rick, what is your own formal education in science? Thank you.
My credentials follow. I never attended second grade. I never attended high school. I did attend college, but only until I achieved the age of 15 years and 9 months, at which point the statutory requirement of compulsory education ceased in my home state. I returned to college somewhat later, in order to determine why it is that I could not understand what Coltrane was doing in his "Giant Steps" solo. That took a semester. I happily departed academia, never to return, handmade friends with my teachers, most of whom vote along with what Chesterton terms the Democracy of the Dead. See you tonight!
I see: no high school, and college till the age of 15 3/4. That's certainly a curious educational history. I love Coltrane, too. Great to agree on something!
But what science courses have you actually taken (and passed)?
[he never did reply; split altogether from the thread after that]
I love tough questions.
Excellent. What science courses have you taken? You ignored this on CMTV two days ago after saying you love taking on all criticisms. Perhaps you will answer here after reiterating that you love tough questions. Thank you.
Dave: I ignored nothing. I answered your question, and you know this.
I do not know that. I assume for charity's sake that you have a bad memory. You told me about the extent of your education; said not a thing about what science courses you took. The exchange remains up at CMTV. Anyone can verify what I just said. I asked you twice with no response. This is now my second time asking, here.
So Rick has now evaded my question about his science education four times, in two different highly visible venues. Remarkable . . .
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, Dave……..
As usual with Rick, it gets downright surreal . . .
Here is my complete exchange with Rick at CMTV, two nights ago (that thread remains online for anyone to read). As anyone can see, he says nothing about any science courses. [quoted the above]
Now he claims that he did answer the question and that I am bearing false witness against him for denying that he did. It's a matter of record. And we all see that he has avoided answering the same question twice here tonight.
I fully and completely addressed your question, Dave. Any fair minded person can see it. You actually post the confirmation of your false witness, and confirmation of your very grave ill will toward my honest attempt to address your question.
I am honestly puzzled why you imagine this is somehow scoring points for your credibility, not to mention your basic honesty.
So Dave- have you ever actually liked a science doc? Ever?
I actually answer your questions. If you mean Facebook "likes" (any other meaning seems ridiculous), I don't know. But I know that I regularly link to science articles on my FB page. For example I linked to an article about the leading skeptic of global warming a few days ago: Lindzen.
I have put together a book about science and Christianity and have had a web page about the same for over 16 years.
But have you ever actually liked a science doc, Dave? Has any single one made an impression on you?
Why don't you answer my first question before I answer the second one from you? Fair enough?
Oh my. Never mind, Dave. Forget I asked.
I didn't forget that you asked, but you'd sure like to forget what I asked you. As I said, I love science and have seen probably hundreds of such documentaries, such as on Nova, etc. DUH! Some big revelation, huh?
David Manthei: Dave and Rick, I think you are talking past each other on this particular point (about the Science classes). If I am reading Rick's response correctly, the answer is "none". Is that a fair assessment Rick?
He never said none (not to me), and I extend the charity to him that he may have taken more than none. I don't know. Here's his big chance to reveal to the world his formal scientific education!
Not that Rick sees any relevance to being asked about his formal scientific education . . . but that's rather beside the point. I wasn't asking about informal education, but formal: the kind where you do things like chemistry experiments, dissecting frogs, have exams, get graded, etc.
My credentials are as stated. My credentials will soon be extended by the release of The Principle, along with the website which will make available much, much more of the fascinating, 35 hours of interviews we conducted with scientists of many viewpoints. They will speak for themselves.
Dropped out of all schooling at age 15 years, 9 months. Duly noted. Undisclosed science classes during those ten long years of school . . .
I spent five years researching the relevant science, and it pays off in the interviews. I took the general science classes at my primary and middle schools, Dave. I went to college at 14, and left as soon as I could. As soon as it was legal for me to do so.
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I guess I really hit a nerve with ol' Rick, despite the genial grandfatherly schtick when he is in public. Here is what he wrote on his Facebook page (1-13-14, 10:39 AM ET):
Dave Armstrong has exposed my pathetic ignorance.
I am so ashamed.
I hang my head in abject shame, to have been so deftly exposed by a man whose own credentials are, we must certainly assume, impeccable.
Mr. Armstrong: While it is clear that you shall certainly wipe the floor, as one of your commenters has suggested, with such a woefully inadequate opponent as my unworthy self, I nonetheless hereby issue a public challenge to you:
I will debate you, at our expense, in a public format, on a resolution to be agreed upon in advance, which resolution might include any among the following:
1. RESOLVED that science documentaries ought to be only produced by scientists, or those with scientific credentials (which ones)?
2. RESOLVED that "The Principle" is a film which ought not be taken seriously, due to the lack of scientific credentials of its Producer
3. RESOLVED, that Catholic apologists ought not throw stones when they live in glass houses
Other resolutions are possible, and ought to be considered by us mutually.
Please get back to me, Dave.
This would be fun, even though you will doubtless find me easy pickings……
Not interested . . . Sorry, Rick, to take away all your fun. Then the "feeding frenzy" and attempted trolling began (as it always does with geocentrists: I know, from long experience):
Well, that didn't take long. Mr. Armstrong has deleted all comments. Anybody get a SCREEN SHOT, HMMMMM? (11:22 AM ET, 1-13-14)
Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave. Don't you realize how pathetic this is on your part? What, are you afraid of a lil' ol' tenth grade dropout? (11:23 AM ET, 1-13-14)
The present kerfuffle over "The Principle" is exposing things about Karl Keating that I personally find utterly shocking, to a degree which I never would have imagined possible. STAY TUNED. This one could be interesting indeed. (11:27 AM ET, 1-13-14)
I have posted my challenge to Mr. Armstrong in a forum which is not subject to the Memoryhole Team at Catholic Prancers [link]. (11:30 AM ET, 1-13-14)
It's hilarious that Rick wants to debate me, rather than Karl Keating or Mark Shea or David Palm: all of whom have made far more arguments and criticisms than I have (David Palm has an entire website about geocentrism). All I've done in the last few days is inquire as to Rick's formal education, and formal education in science (a perfectly legitimate question). That's it! So why does he start challenging me to debate? I think it's reasonable and plausible to assume that it's because he's highly embarrassed, so that it's now "payback time." But I don't participate in these sorts of games. I have nothing to prove.
Rick and his minions can call me all the names they want. That never sways me to do anything (quite the contrary). I have serious apologetics work to do, and have already spent far too much time with this nonsense, climbing Mt. Everest, trying to get the simplest answers out of Rick; then when I do, we get this childish hogwash.
Please keep posting it to Dave. Over and over. [i.e., a blatant call for trolling] (11:30 AM ET, 1-13-14)
HA! Coward. (11:30 AM ET, 1-13-14)
Nasty is one thing. [referring to Karl Keating] Explicitly devoted to the destruction of the reputations of Catholics in good standing is another. Explicitly working with the enemies of the Church to destroy those reputations is still another. I have a feeling this is going to be for all the marbles. (11:34 AM ET, 1-13-14)
It took about five minutes for Mr. Armstrong to delete all comments from his post linked above, including my challenge. Is Dave afraid of something? [posted at Magisterial Fundies] (11:36 AM ET, 1-13-14)
Dave is a brave man as long as the comments are closed ;-) (11:37 AM ET, 1-13-14)
If anyone knows any computer whizzes, ask them if there is a way to retrieve deleted comments on Facebook. I am ALL EARS and I will pay. (11:38 AM ET, 1-13-14)
These boys are not about truth. They are about enforcement. What truly shocked me was to find out who is standing behind Karl Keating in this. (11:44 AM ET, 1-13-14)
Keating posted, and then immediately deleted, a truly shocking threat when I told him we were on the verge of securing a theatrical release for "The Principle". He essentially said that he doubted it would go through once he partnered with B'nai B'rith to stop it. This is serious, serious stuff. (11:45 AM ET, 1-13-14)
We got em on the run. Just wait. This will be epic. (11:46 AM ET, 1-13-14)
He is obviously testosterone-challenged once it becomes clear he actually has to answer those he targets. (11:57 AM ET, 1-13-14)
David Palm actually was challenged to debate in the past. Here is the story as he tells it, on the long Keating thread (linked below):
On The Principle Facebook page I was challenged to a public debate, which I accepted. Only after my acceptance was the offer modified to only an oral debate. I totally get how an oral debate might generate plenty of "buzz" to help market a product, but if it's a matter of seeking the truth then clearly a written debate is superior.
So here again I accept the invitation to a written, moderated public, debate with each installment posted at each of our sites. Normal debate format: formal resolution, opening statements, cross examination, closing remarks. Word count limit instead of time limit. I'm sure we can hammer out a resolution around whether the Catholic Church proposes an immobile earth to the faithful as a matter of divine revelation.
. . . So first things first. Will any of the new geocentrists agree to a public, moderated, written debate on whether the Catholic Church teaches an immobile earth as a matter of divine revelation?
I guess that's an extremely long winded way of saying "No". Eh Dave? Coward. (1:40 PM ET, 1-13-14)
Gosh. He said no. Who could possibly have predicted that? Coward, I say again. (1:46 PM ET, 1-13-14)
Mr. Dave Armstrong has received my challenge. He has a lot of word salad going on, which boils down to this: "Not interested . . . Sorry, Rick, to take away all your fun." Gosh, how unpredictable was that? Anyway, chalk up another drearily predictable backdown to Mr. Dave Armstrong, a man who is brave when the com boxes are closed. [posted at Magisterial Fundies] (1:48 PM ET, 1-13-14)
He has serious apologetics to do, he says. Which raises the question, what is he doing with this? Obviously not serious apologetics. Anyway, chalk up another drearily predictable backdown to Mr. Dave Armstrong, a man who is brave when the com boxes are closed. (1:50 PM ET, 1-13-14)
HA! More? The man is completely disgraced. No courage. No honor. Just swipes from behind his closed com boxes. Next. (1:51 PM ET, 1-13-14)
He has in fact selectively posted from our thread here. Unlike Dave, I believe that the truth is best served in open discussion and debate. Our opposition is disgraceful in their opposition to just such open discussion and debate. (2:42 PM ET, 1-13-14)
"Elisa the Thinker" wrote at Magisterial Fundies:
I also noted that before this challenge was made to Dave, there was a comment on Dave Armstrong's post about your recent interview on "Forward Boldy."
I don't know when that comment was deleted, but it's gone today, with the rest as you mentioned.
It seems that Dave Armstrong would like to keep his post about you devoid of any comments that would help people learn what you, Robert Sungenis, and The Principle have to say from the sources themselves.
It seems that Dave would like to be the lens through which his followers see you.
IMHO, that speaks volumes. (4:16 PM ET, 1-13-14)
As you can see, my goal is clearly to repress and obliterate any links that allow Rick to give his views. 'Tis a pity, ain't it?
Please pray and do penance for Rick DeLano. He seems to have a lot of time on his hands, and surely it could be devoted to things of infinitely more significance than this ridiculous schoolyard goading. But if he wants to be on record with this idiocy (lots of folks may search his name online after his film comes out, and run across this post), that's his choice. I'm more than happy to utilize this post as a platform for his flatulent tedium. As the old proverb says, "when your opponent is imploding, you get out of the way and let him do it."
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[see additional vigorous discussion on my Facebook page: including my defense of myself against charges that I have a double standard about credentials, etc. See also the excellent discussion on Karl Keating's Facebook page, that has over 600 comments, as of writing (1-13-14)]