This is a bit of correspondence that I exchanged with a creationist in early 1998. I've left out his e-mail address and a few other details, for reasons of privacy. The content of the messages is otherwise unaltered (though some of my messages are missing, since I forgot to keep a copy).
In the summaries that follow, well, bear in mind that I'm biased.
IN which an opening shot is fired, various statements are made, and nonsense is spewed.
IN which I get permission, and foreshadowing occurs.
IN which I decide that I might have some spare time after all; polite banter is exchanged; names are dropped; and David advances creationist arguments
IN which I ask what creationism is, and distinguish between evolution and abiogenesis; I ask what a `kind' is; I ask what a god is; I note that David has admitted that evolution happens; I knock down a strawman, ask some specific questions, and propose an experiment.
IN which David makes extraordinary claims about the Bible, dismisses solipsism and last-tuesdayism, gives vague responses to some questions, avoids others, gives two definitions of `kind', and asks what is `natural'.
IN which The Tapes are mentioned; David avoids various questions and dismisses others, makes unwarranted comparisons, and brings up a classic creationist argument.
IN which David talks about Archaeopteryx, hummingbirds' teeth, and the Paluxy river footprints; and asserts the lack of transitional fossils.
IN which I ignore most of David's message, because this is getting old; I ask him again to provide evidence for creationism; I point out problems with the Bible; I counter the argument from design, and try to end the discussion before it gets out of hand.
IN which David disses most Christians, reveals his true purpose, makes unflattering remarks about various groups, claims biblical inerrancy (mostly), makes an absurd claim, dares me to watch The Videos (tm), and ignores the documentation I pointed him at.
IN which David denies being a troll.
IN which David confuses evolution with social darwinism, dissociates himself from most Christians, and tries to use Pascal's Wager to convert me.
IN which I refute Pascal's wager, and ask David to stop trying to convert me.
A mostly content-free message.
IN which David forwards me an article, and makes a few comments.
IN which David comes up with arguments to fit the data, confuses me with Richard Dawkins, reiterates the literal truth of the Bible, makes mistaken statements about Columbus, implies that there's a conspiracy against creationists, and double-dares me to watch The Videos (tm).
IN which I ask David for predictions made by the creationist theory, express skepticism, ask David again to provide some evidence for creationism, ask about the literal truth of certain biblical statements, avoid Luray caverns, and ask just what The Videos (tm) are.
IN which David denies my statements about the Bible, dissociates himself from a lot of Christians, avoids my questions, claims biblical inerrancy, double-dog-dares me to watch The Videos (tm), but at least gives me an author and a title, then claims to have presented tons of evidence, all of which I somehow managed not to notice.
IN which I find the The Videos (tm) material online, and David tries to save my soul.
IN which I show that The Videos (tm) are dishonest, and David gets flustered and misses the point.
IN which I have to spell things out.
IN which David denies the obvious, attempts misdirection, tries to defend the author of The Videos (tm), and implies nasty things about my soul.
IN which I ask some pointed questions, and ask David to do some research of his own, for a change.
David denies the obvious, refuses to go to a library, and throws in