Duane Gish, Senior Vice-President Emeritus for the Institute of Creation Research, anti-evolutionist, died on March 5 at the age of 91.
Gish was one of the world’s most infamous Creationist writers and debaters. His ploy was to not use the evidence (which Creationism lacks) in an argument but to use rhetorical devices.
He was best known for his irritating method of debate where he would rapidly fire arguments and “facts” at his opponent and change the topic. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, named this the “Gish Gallop.” In this technique, he could talk and talk and not say anything of meaning but put on a good show making it difficult for the other to answer. He had debated some famous skeptics including Michael Shermer and Massimo Pigliucci. This annoying tactic has since been identified in other debaters who lack good evidence for their claims but wish to appeal to the crowd. You will hear “gish galloping” used as a common pejorative these days.
Born in Kansas, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1953 and was the author of several books, including books that promoted Christian Creationism to children.
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